Coronavirus Update: 19th March 2020

The situation with Covid-19 is changing rapidly and the NEU is working hard to keep on top of things and make sure that Reps and members have all the information you need.
Locally we are included in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets planning team for schools and children’s services, so we will be able to update you as soon any decisions affecting schools are made.
Here is a quick update.
1. NEU INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING
The situation will be changing on a daily basis and we believe that NEU Reps should be as close to decision making as possible. Successful planning for the next few months is going to rely on a lot of goodwill from staff, so it is important that decisions are not just imposed upon us, but are subject to discussion and agreement. We recommend that NEU Reps ask for regular meetings with your head to discuss operational plans.
2. HOW WILL SCHOOLS WORK?
The government decision is based on there being an average occupancy rate of school buildings of about 20%.
So schools are being asked to identify what staffing will be necessary to do that, once the list of students is known.
This may mean that staff work on a rota basis but does not mean that all staff need to be in work all the time – that would defeat the object of the exercise which is to minimise travel and contact.
3. REPORTING FOR WORK
Staff who are not showing any symptoms and are fit for work, can be expected to be in work or to be available to work from home. Expectations for those working at home should be reasonable and should be discussed with staff. Please contact us if you have any concerns about this.
4. EASTER OPENING
The government has said that they want schools to continue with this provision during the Easter holiday. At this stage we have no further information on this but this will be on the agenda for our meeting with the Council planning team.
5. GETTING PAID
There should be no question of anyone losing pay through this crisis. All staff who have a contract with the school, including those who are self-isolating, should remain on full pay.Supply teachers are in a different position and the NEU is trying to address their situation.
6. SUPPLY TEACHERS
The NEU believes that supply teachers who are on a long-term contract should be treated in the same way as permanent staff and continue to be paid. 
7. WHATSAPP GROUP
We are considering setting up a WhatsApp group for school Reps so that we can share information and advice quickly and Reps can help each other out by sharing what is happening in their schools. If you would like to join this group please text me on 07973 913 123.
8. NEU MEETINGS CANCELLED
Finally, it won’t surprise you to know that we have cancelled our meeting on Monday and all District meetings until further notice. We will be looking at using Zoom if we need to call a meeting for Reps to discuss any urgent business.

We will be sending regular updates and you may need to find ways of sharing these with colleagues and seeing their views if you are not able to call meetings.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice and support.
NEU Coronavirus updates – this is being updated at least daily.