The NASUWT has today written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, raising deep concerns about the unacceptable actions some employers are taking at a time of national crisis.
The Union has been dealing with hundreds of calls from distressed and anxious teachers where employers are continuing with procedures that will lead to job loss or detrimentally affect teachers’ pension provision.
Contracts are being prematurely terminated with immediate loss of salary. Government guidance on unnecessary journeys is being ignored. Teachers are being penalised for self-isolating and in some cases teachers with vulnerable health conditions as defined by Government are being told their condition is only ‘mild’ and they should be at work.
Ms Chris Keates, NASUWT Acting General Secretary said:
“In these unprecedented times, we have seen the best of employers, showing genuine concern and care for teachers, headteachers and other staff, who are in the frontline providing ongoing support for the children of other key workers and vulnerable children.
“Regrettably, however, we are also experiencing the worst of employers who are choosing to ignore the reality of the current situation and callously, unfairly and unjustifiably continuing with practices which are adversely affecting teachers’ lives and livelihoods.
“Teachers rights and entitlements are being trampled over, as these opportunistic employers drive through procedures and processes and make decisions which will lead to job loss and in some cases immediate loss of income as contracts are prematurely terminated.
“We have lost count of the number of cases where we have been contacted by highly distressed teachers with underlying health conditions who, according to Government guidelines, should not be in work but are being subjected to their medical diagnosis being second guessed by employers.
“The cases we have been dealing with in the last few days sadly demonstrate that too many employers have lost their humanity when dealing with their staff and not even a national crisis has been able to cause them to change their ways.”