Supporting members during coronavirus
During this period the role of the NEU rep is so important in representing members views. To help you do this we recommend that you:
- Establish a way of regularly communicating with your school leadership during COVID-19, to represent the collective views of your membership.
- Make sure you have a way to communicate directly with members during periods of closure, including the use of tools like WhatsApp and Facebook groups.
- Read our guide on using WhatsApp effectively for union communications.
Checklists for reps
The following guidance and checklists are designed to help you to identify key issues of concern to discuss with members and raise with your leadership team.
Keep members safe - a checklist for reps
We are asking you as a workplace rep to ensure that your school or college meets our health and safety guidance. We think schools and colleges should create a protocol, which is agreed with you and your members and which includes the following provisions:
- School is only open for children of key workers.
- Social distancing protocols are in place for children and staff.
- Hygiene protocols are in place for children and staff.
- Staff who are vulnerable, or care for vulnerable people, are working from home and are not expected to come to the site.
- A rota for other staff is established to keep staff separate and to ensure that the minimum number of staff are working in school each day.
Distance learning- a checklist for your members
A “normal education” is impossible in the current climate. Keeping minds active and happy, ready to return to school when the time comes, is paramount right now. It is not possible to replicate the school timetable at home and there should be no attempt to do so.
How the school operates in these exceptional circumstances should be the basis of negotiations between management and education unions. Basic principles are:
- Teacher workload should be reasonable and related to individual circumstances.
- Setting pupils 2-3 hours’ work a day is likely to be more than sufficient.
- There is no need for daily interaction with pupils.
- Educators should not have to fill in daily timesheets or tracking documents.
- A protocol should be negotiated for any online learning. It should take account of the limitations of access to IT equipment that both staff and pupils may experience.
- There should be no routine marking or grading.
- Contact of staff at home should be agreed and by prior arrangement.
To read our full guidance on what you need to know on distance teaching.
There is new and updated exam guidance for all phases on what you need to know on exams. Please share and discuss this with members.
Our Zoom calls
Support for you
We are asking your local branch and district officers to support you and ensure members are represented during this period.
Find your local branch and district officers’ contact details.
Sharing your stories of success during coronavirus
How the NEU is helping you win in your workplace
Special school reps
The NEU has produced frequently asked questions on coronavirus for reps in special schools.
Rep recruitment drive
Many members are already stepping 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 with you, we will encourage them to speak with you first. Members can indicate they want to get involved using our form here.