UPDATE: FRIDAY 13 AUGUST
It is clear from member contact with the AEU office that confusion exists regarding the status of teachers as “essential workers” and how to comply with the ACT Government’s stay at home directions.
Despite the urging of this union, school staff have not been given priority in the vaccine rollout. It is our expectation that any member who does not feel safe to attend the school site during a lockdown will be allowed to work from home.
To this end, the union has urged the Education Directorate to issue clarifying correspondence to staff about the expectation for attendance. You should have received this correspondence today. In particular, we draw to your attention the following:
- Only the bare minimum number of staff should be on site at any time to minimise movement in line with COVID health restrictions.
- School based staff are considered essential workers and should be ready and available to attend the school site. The number of staff on site should be based on schools having sufficient staff to meet the needs of students attending on site, noting the minimum number expectation above.
- Appropriate consultation and negotiation with staff should occur in determining the staffing requirements.
- The individual circumstances of staff should be considered to determine which staff are required to attend school.
- Staff that are not required to attend the workplace are expected to work from home to support their students and to prepare for remote learning.
We urge our members to stay safe and support each other during this challenging time. If you need support, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org
SNAP 7 DAY LOCKDOWN FROM 5PM 12 AUGUST
As members will be aware, the government has announced a 7-day lockdown following a positive COVID-19 case in the ACT. Members should ensure that they are keeping up-to-date with the Directorate’s communications and staying in touch with their school.
Key information for members
- Member safety always has been and remains the priority of our union.
- We will support members to make judgements about what is safe for them during this period, in accordance with the health advice.
- Many members will already have made arrangements with their school about attendance on site during a snap lockdown.
- Working at a school site during lockdown is a decision that members should make for themselves, taking into consideration their own circumstances, including their vulnerability and vaccination status.
- In making their decision, members should have a conversation with their principal. We will support members, including principal members, if those conversations become difficult.
- We particularly acknowledge that this period will present challenges for our principal and school leader members and encourage all members to keep us advised of the situation that they are facing so that we can advocate on your behalf.
Our union office will continue to engage in dialogue with the Directorate and will closely monitor developments. We will also continue our advocacy to government at all levels, especially on the subject of teacher priority for vaccinations.
We wish everyone the best in challenging circumstances and urge members to stay safe.
If you need any support, please contact our office at email@example.com.