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IEU Speaks on COVID-19

COVID-19

IEUA CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE NATION-WIDE END OF TERM FOR ALL SCHOOL STUDENTS

The IEUA’s primary concern is that schools cannot meet either their legislative Work, Health and Safety obligations or their duty of care to both their employees and students.

Accordingly, the IEUA calls for an immediate nation-wide end of term for all school students. 

Employees with underlying health conditions, those who are pregnant and those who provide care for elderly relatives within their own household should, with immediate effect, be permitted to work from home or granted ex-gratia leave.

There must also be an orderly transition to emergency schooling arrangements, including support and protocols for online/remote learning. There needs to be urgent discussions between government, employers and the Unions about the provision of emergency schooling arrangements for children of essential services personnel, including the terms of engagement for volunteer staff and a safe workplace environment.

Staff working in remote schools must be provided with immediate travel arrangements to their home or home state, especially in light of emerging border arrangements.

It’s time to call time on term one now.

Quotes attributable to the Independent Education Unions of WA

Bruce Martin, Teacher and Honorary President, Independent Education Union (IEU) (WA Branch) said:

“Schools may be the safest place for students but the inability of school management to provide a safe workplace is putting both students and staff at risk

“IEU members call for immediate action.

“School teachers and other staff are being used at the frontline;

  • there are insufficient cleaning and hygiene arrangements in place
  • ever-increased workloads as teachers and other staff trial online Teaching and Learning
  • and  
  • sub-standard support of employees with underlying health conditions  

“This puts students, staff and their families at risk.”

Angela Briant, General Secretary, Independent Education Union (WA Branch) said:

“On behalf of 75,000 members Australia-wide the IEUA National Executive today issues a call for immediate nation-wide end of term for all school students

“The risk to staff and students is too great for schools to remain open.

“The IEUA WA Branch urges all non-government education employers to commence an orderly transition immediately.”

Authorised by C.Watt. IEUA Federal Secretary
IEU – representing 75000 teachers, principals and ancillary staff in faith-based, community and independent schools, pre-schools and early childhood centres and post-secondary centres across Australia. 
March 2020