UNISON West Sussex advice to members in schools

In addition to our previous advice ref the NEU strike action planned:

  1. UNISON advises school support staff who are only granted unpaid leave where their own child’s school is closed and are therefore unable to attend work because of childcare concerns, to contact the Branch and seek support. The Branch will support members to take up formal grievance procedures against the employer where pay has been withheld. We are concerned there will be unfair and inconsistent approaches to pay for staff unable to work because of their own childcare needs caused by NEU strike action, and we actively want to support members to avoid these.
  2. Members should also contact the Branch Office and seek advice where Headteachers are requesting support staff cover roles outside of normal work, or because they are directed to work to cover teachers taking industrial action, or come under any pressure to do so. Where requests are designed to frustrate the actions of striking teachers, or unreasonable pressure is applied to force agreement to work inappropriately, UNISON will support members to raise a formal grievance against the actions of the employer. We actively want to support members to resolve any concerns in this regard and encourage members to decline any requests made of them to cover striking teachers’ work which are outside of what they would normally be contracted for and expect to be doing on Wednesday 1st February.