Happy new year to you all, the news of the last few days must have caused great anxiety for you. Will schools follow the scientific advice and close for an additional 2 weeks and work on rolling out the Covid testing or will the Government continue to insist schools are safe? You as staff or the families of pupils who attend your schools should not be waiting in limbo like this. Unless any announcements are made later today it is looking likely Schools in Derby will open. UNISONS advice from our National School Team supported by the National Schools Committee in which I sit, is that schools are currently not safe for pupils or staff.
I am very aware you don’t want schools to close you are simply requesting that they are safe, and safe for all pupils and staff.
Last week I attended the Independent SAGE meeting, it was made very clear that schools should not reopen yet. The link for the meeting I attended can be watched below…
Yesterday evening, after seeking legal clarification UNISON sent all school support staff with an active email address an email containing a letter, for you to send to your head and or employer. Ideally send this letter individually but if you would rather send it as a team / group please do so. Ensure every name you add has agreed to be added and ensure you do make yourself available to work from home. I would advise sending this as soon as possible so you’re employer can make arrangements. We have already been notified of potential school closures due to staff exercising the right to be safe. This is your right under Health and Safety Law.
I am happy to be copied into this email. email@example.com Should you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me on the above email address. I will be keeping an eye on my emails today and I will respond but it won’t be immediately. I am officially back at work on Monday 4th January.
I will be contacting all our School Stewards today via email to ensure they are fully updated, should you decide that now is the time your school has a steward and or a Health and Safety Rep please contact me and we can get you on board with supporting members in your school and helping keep your workplace safe.
Your employer and Head teacher / Principle has a duty to keep you safe at work, asking you to cross bubbles is one example of you not being safe and putting you at a greater risk. We understand how it’s near on impossible to adhere to social distancing this is another risk.The new strain of Covid is spreading at a vast speed. If you work in a school for a separate cleaning or catering contractor please ensure you notify your employer if you are taking this action advised by your union.
Your school needs a steward and a Health and Safety Rep right now. Never before have we needed a steward in every workplace. It’s not too late to join unison, please inform your colleagues who may not be in a union that we are working to keep you safe in the workplace. New members can join at https://join.unison.org.uk