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Letter from GMB Regarding Reopening of Schools

Dear Member

We hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well.

GMB knows this is a particularly stressful and anxious time for you and hopes that this bulletin will be useful in addressing any concerns or issues you may have about the wider reopening of schools. GMB wanted to provide you with the most comprehensive and up to date information as possible and we thank you for your patience.

Following publication of the Governments Guidance on 11th May, outlining the plans for the wider reopening of Schools on 1st June GMB along with other education unions, has been in discussions with the Government concerning whether it is safe to reopen schools. GMB has been unequivocally clear in its position that many aspects of the guidance appear contradictory and lack clarity and do not satisfactorily address concerns about the health and safety of our members.

At a time when our MPs are not returning to the House of Commons, which is of comparable size to a primary school, because of the risk of COVID-19, it is unfair that MP’s want Support Staff to return to Schools, before the key tests set out by GMB and other education unions have been achieved and safety measures put in place.

Attached to this email is a bulletin with the latest information regarding the proposed wider reopening of schools. In addition to information on how the wider reopening of schools and coronavirus could impact on your particular role, there are several attachments which may be useful.

GMB has written to every Head Teacher outlining GMBs concerns and asking for assurances on the safety of all our members and asking whether 1st June is a realistic date for a wider reopening of their school, given the measures which need to be in place.  A copy of this is attached for your information. If you would like to endorse the contents of this letter and ask for a copy of the risk assessment for your particular role there is a template attached that you may wish to use.

GMB knows that for those of you with medical conditions, which place you at greater risk from COVID-19, the anxiety and worry about returning to school is further exacerbated. Therefore, we have provided with this email, a template letter for you to send to your Head Teacher requesting an individual risk assessment to be carried out, in conjunction with Occupational Health before you can be expected to return to work. Please would you copy GMBs’ Schools Team into this correspondence, so we can make sure you receive a proper response to your request.

We have tried to include as much information as possible but if there are any questions you may still have, you can contact us at schoolsteamlondon@gmb.org.uk and we will either answer your question directly or pass it on to your Regional Organiser.

If you know anyone who is not already in a Union and they would like to join they can do so at https://www.gmb.org.uk/join-gmb. Being a member of GMB means you should feel confident in addressing any issues you may be facing, knowing you are supported by your Union. The issues surrounding schools reopening are not just individual issues and need to be addressed collectively. Together we are stronger and together we can make a difference.

 

With kind regards

Keith Williams and Lisa Bangs

Attachments:
Letter from GMB regarding concerns
Supporting Support Staff bulletin
Member letter of support for GMB concerns
Member letter to request risk assessment

Posted: 25th May 2020

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