NEU workplace reps and branch officers are working hard to protect members and pupils during the COVID 19 crisis. By representing the collective views of members to head teachers and local authorities, NEU reps are securing important protocols to keep members and pupils safe.
This webpage is dedicated to showcasing the work our fantastic reps and activists are doing. We hope by collating these stories we can share success and support others to do the same.
Stories of success
An elected NEU officer from Newcastle reports that, after being contacted about a school making unreasonable and unsafe demands of staff, “the rep at the school spoke to the head after I sent out the union's guidance to all members this morning. All deadlines – and the need to submit reports – were withdrawn, and staff asked to use their professional judgement and work to a sensible time frame, given their other commitments”.
A school in East Sussex, in the face of all advice to the contrary, was asking all staff to attend despite zero children attending the school. NEU members said that they were prepared to refuse to attend the school unless a sensible response was agreed. The school backed down in the face of the determination of the NEU group.
Members at Forest Lodge LEAD Academy in Leicester contacted local NEU representatives after all 80 staff were required to attend work yesterday and today. After receiving NEU advice and coming together as a school group to consider a collective response, a member said: “Thank you all for your support. As if by magic, SLT are running around school sending staff home and we are getting a rota later on today. We all appreciate NEU help”.
“NEU advice and support has been invaluable this week. Thanks for all you do!” - E Act rep
The Venn Academy Trust based in Hull agreed to extend a proposed restructuring timetable from one month to three months after NEU representations. Most employers have agreed to suspend formal procedures for the duration of the emergency.
Members at Harris Federation schools in London were able to utilise their rep network to co-ordinate a response to a proposed restructuring in a number of schools. By acting together in a proactive fashion, NEU has persuaded Harris to postpone the proposals during the current crisis.
Following reports that members working at the Priory Federation of Academies Trust were told that they would not be paid if they followed NHS advice to self-isolate where appropriate, the NEU contacted the HR department who agreed that this was wrong and immediately notified all staff of the inaccuracy.