The IEU is monitoring closely the ongoing COVID-19 health and safety considerations in schools. We are in regular communication with our reps and members, providing guidance and advice as appropriate.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the operation of all schools with respect to new safety measures, altered school operations and teaching and learning arrangements. These challenges are acknowledged and highlight the need for regular communication between school employers and the union, and continual review of procedures to ensure best practice measures are in place within the context of an evolving and uncertain health emergency.
The union is aware of a number of developing situations in our members’ schools across NSW, and is communicating with affected reps and members regarding what procedures are being undertaken to ensure staff and student safety. A number of those schools have proactively contacted the union and kept us abreast of developments, prior to making any public communications. Others, however, have not.
The IEU encourages employers to remember that the IEU is the industrial representative of many of their employees, and any decisions taken that will affect the working conditions of these employees should be transparently communicated to the union via the appropriate IEU organiser or other official channels.
We encourage all of our members, if they feel any concerns around health and safety measures being taken in their schools or centres, or if they feel decisions made in response to the pandemic are unclear or unjust, to:
As you conduct these meetings, it can be a powerful demonstration of the strength of unionism and collective strength. Use these opportunities to recruit new members to your chapter.
These meetings should of course be conducted in a safe and socially distanced manner, which may or not include the use of a virtual meeting room.
The IEU will support our members in ensuring their continued health and safety through appropriate preventative hygiene, protective and physical distancing measures, while at work.