Teachers union to defend teachers against a forceful return to work policy

Reopening of schools amid coronavirus has led to a teachers union promising teachers of legal aid should they feel afraid to return to work.

NASUWT, in a letter addressed to its 300,000 members, has threatened legal action if teachers are forced to return to work without addressing the health concerns. The teachers union promised they will be behind them in case their concerns are not addressed.

The teachers union position on school reopenings

The organization stated that, unless teachers are accorded the same protection other frontline workers were given, they can legally refuse to return to work. The letter goes further by threatening the government’s plan of early school reopening.

The teachers union sentiments, however, have not been welcomed by all. The Oasis academy chain has already indicated that it will return to normal learning on June 1st, the date that has been proposed by the government for school reopening.

NASUWT said teachers and other staff deserved the same treatment that the government gave other workers such as the National Health Services and the home carers in guidance released this week. They were disappointed by the double standards teachers were subjected to, which put them to much riskier environments than everyone else.

Safety concerns

In a statement, NASUWT said it was only fair teachers were assured of returning to a safe working environment. A compromise on safety would mean infections which, not only makes people seriously ill but also resulted in fatalities.

NASUWT’s general secretary, Patrick Roach, continued by saying that if it meant that schools will not be opened until September, then that is what they will push for.

The government is pushing forward with the school reopening after the Prime Minister highlighted this week how the government intends to proceed with the reopening of the economy. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, has also promised to release scientific advice, that would see schools plan on how to proceed.


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