Urgent Schools Update – Monday 18th May 2020

The following email went out to all members on Monday 18th May 2020.

Dear UNISON Member

This email is of direct and urgent relevance to our members in schools and other education/childcare settings. However, we are sending it to all members, as we know the potential impact of schools re-opening on 1st June will not just be felt by those who work in them.

We want all members to be assured that our approach is as much about protecting children and the wider community, as our members working in schools and other education/childcare settings.

Over the weekend, UNISON and other education unions have examined the Government guidance to schools on the proposed 1st June re-opening and have produced the attached checklist (at the bottom of the page).

Our firm view is that any school or other education/childcare setting that proposes to re—open on 1st June (or any other date), for children other than those currently supported must demonstrate compliance with the conditions set out in the document, and must do so with the direct involvement of recognised trade unions.

We believe the onus is on the school (or other educational/childcare setting) to undertake this vital piece of work. Until a school (or educational/childcare setting) has demonstrated that it can comply with the requirements set out, it should not admit children beyond those eligible for support through the lockdown.

We are calling on Salford City Council to take its responsibilities seriously and to declare openly and publicly that it will actively resist – and support staff and their unions to resist – the further opening of any school or educational/childcare setting that has not actively demonstrate its compliance with these requirements to its staff, their trade unions, parents and the local authority. As such, this email will be forwarded to relevant Council officers and local politicians, as well as operators of non-LA schools and other settings.

In the meantime, in case you are placed under any pressure to engage with a re-opening in a way that is not in line with the advice we are giving, please feel free to use the attached template letter (at the bottom of the page) to express your views to your head teacher, chair of governors and/or line manager. Our direct advice to you will strengthen if your employers continue to insist on re-opening without proving that it is safe to do so.

Finally, please can we encourage you all to participate in our Zoom meeting for all members at 4:30pm this Wednesday, where this issue will be the number one topic of discussion. You should have received log in details in previous emails and a further reminder will be sent out tomorrow.

Coronavirus Workplace checklist PDF v3