Schools update…

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Most schools have opted to break for the summer rather than continue with catch-up. A reminder for all TTO employees that you can be asked to work over the summer break but cannot be forced to. If you agree, you should be paid for these extra hours.

Schools will have been planning staffing for next year.  Any member on a temporary contract for more than two years should contact us for support in getting their contract made permanent.

The local authority has advised schools to continue with their current risk management arrangements unchanged up to the end of the term.  If your school is not following this advice, let us know.  There is a snag as NHS test and trace will not be supporting schools with contact tracing.  This is being queried with the DfE.

It’s too early to say what the position will be in September, but we intend to continue talking to LA about this over the Summer.
UNISON’s national Schools Committee agreed in late June that the government needs to: 

• Re-introduce previous rules on face coverings and reduce bubble sizes to prevent further disruption
• Give schools the funding and logistical support to implement stronger preventative measures, including improved ventilation and smaller bubbles to stop further transmission of the virus in September  
• Keep current measures on bubbles and self-isolation for close contacts in place for at the least the first half of the autumn term until there is clear evidence that there is not another transmission spike in schools. 
• Increase testing capacity at school so that pupils can be tested on-site. Ongoing concerns about the accuracy of the rapid lateral flow tests, mean they should not be used as a ‘green light’ for close contacts or as an alternative to self-isolation.

UNISON is saying this because cases are rising rapidly, hospitals are near to capacity and admissions are rising, the risk of long COVID particularly for younger workers who aren’t fully vaccinated, and the risk to those who are still clinically vulnerable.

Keep in touch during the break as we expect further developments.

Update for #Coventry City #UNISON members on #Pay claim 2021 / 2022

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The pandemic has exposed to even more people who the real key workers are in society. Ordinary people, across the public and private sector, have kept society functioning.

#UNISON, alongside the other trade unions, submitted a pay claim of 10% in local government. To put that into context – our pay has dropped by up to 18% in real terms since 2010. So 10% would go towards the money that we have lost out on.

The employers have come back with a measly 1.5% pay offer. This is at a time when the Retail Price Index measure of inflation for May 2021 3.3%, so another real term pay cut!

UNISON correctly rejected this offer as being an insult and far below what we are worth. Today the employers have come back with an increased offer – of an extra 0.25%, taking it to 1.75%. This is an absolute disgrace and nowhere near what our members need. It is in reality a pay cut in real terms.

After everything that has happened – we are worth more than this. Some may ask, is the money there? The facts speak for themselves – £37 billion on the track and trace system and £2 billion in Covid contracts for Tory donors just for starters.

Council workers deserve a proper pay rise. Its as simple as that. It is not just council workers though – teachers and health workers to name just two other groups of workers are not getting what they need or deserve. We just co-ordinate our campaigning with other sectors who are also under attack. Keep an eye out for further updates, or visit the local government section on the UNISON website.