September poses a new set of challenges for us all.
This includes wider opening of education establishments, the need to ensure that coronavirus poses no detriment to all education staff and making sure all eligible staff receive the pay progression they deserve.
From September 2020 all pupils will be returning to education. To coincide with this, the National Education Union has produced a checklist for reps to discuss with members and also the head teachers.
This checklist is available electronically and also to download as a PDF below. Branch secretaries will receive a copy of all completed electronic checklists via email.
We have outlined the steps we have asked reps in your area to take via email to you and also published these and all documentation to help with this on our coronavirus reps webpage.
Stage One: preliminary assessment of checklist compliance
Complete as soon as possible and by end of August at the very latest.
- Send checklist to members inviting feedback
- Hold digital members meeting to consider member feedback
- Hold meeting with head or principal for first discussion of reopening plans and checklist compliance
- Preliminary assessment of checklist compliance (via digital app wherever possible)
- Submit the Checklist Letter 1 - Issues of Concern with preliminary assessment to head or principal (NEU will provide online tool)
- Consider escalation actions set out below, liaising with branch, district or region/Wales office for further guidance.
Stage Two: final assessment of checklist compliance
Complete the week prior to date set for reopening, and by Friday 4 September at the latest.
- Final meetings with head or principal to assess whether checklist compliance, including conducting a site inspection if safe to do so
- Final assessment of checklist compliance (via digital app wherever possible)
- If the final assessment is not full compliance with the checklist’s core safety concerns identified above and head or principal insists on proceeding with reopening, then:
- Feedback final assessment to members, request that members co-sign Checklist Letter 2 – Serious Safety Warning (adapted to suit our local circumstances) and then submit the Checklist Letter 2 to the Head/Principal
- Flag to branch and region/Wales office to consider further escalation actions as set out below.
- If the head or principal still refuses to adjust their reopening plans and/or delay their timetable for reopening, immediately flag to your branch and region/Wales office to issue relevant legal advice to members and associated final escalations actions.
Escalation guidance relating to infection outbreaks – in-school/college or local spikes – is below
Guidance for reps and officers on virus outbreak response escalation.
How to hold a successful digital members or reps meeting
We have this short guide to help you deliver a digital meetings of reps and even members to discuss the checklist and ensure we represent members views collectively in discussion with your leadership teams.
How members can secure progression in your local authority area
The COVID-19 crisis, and partial closure of schools, has placed enormous pressure on school staff including teachers, support staff and school leaders.
Under the current circumstances, education staff are unable to complete meaningful Performance Management reviews for the academic year 2019/20 and so annual pay reviews cannot be carried out in the normal way.
Rep recruitment drive
Many members have already stepped up to become NEU reps and to become part of rep teams to help during the COVID-19 crisis.
If there is a member who wants to be a rep in your area, even supporting an existing rep, we are encouraging them to indicate they want to get involved using our form here.
Support for you
We are asking you as local branch and district officers to support reps and members during this time, if you require further assistance, please contact your region/Wales office.
Officers Zoom meetings
District & Branches during lockdown – constitutional advice
Advice and guidance on the running of district and branch meetings during lockdown, including AGMs and decisions relating to local subscription rates and honoraria, can be found on the NEU Officers’ Portal here.
Remember, schools/colleges remain open to vulnerable pupils and staff continue to provide distance learning to other pupils. See our extensive coronavirus advice.
The draft timetable for the online Special Conference on 3 October is available to District Secretaries to enable planning meetings to be scheduled.