Urgent COVID-19 Member Advisory #12: COVID response plans essential in all schools; Casuals must have wage security
The review of comprehensive health and safety plans remains essential in all schools given the challenges of the ever evolving COVID-19 health emergency.
Recent developments interstate, and now emerging in Queensland in recent days, highlights a number of priority safety protocols and protections that school employers must put into action.
We have again highlighted two of these critical matters to Queensland school employers.
1. Clearly established protocols for suspected infections on school sites
Schools must be prepared to enact an emergency response plan in cases of suspected infections within a school community including protocols for decontamination and paid leave for employees during any closure.
2. Wage protections and support for casual staff
Casual employees have generally been ignored in the various pandemic leave policies developed by employers.
The very nature of insecure casual work has proven to have potentially disastrous consequences interstate where, in the absence of any paid leave, casual employees have felt compelled to attend work even when felling unwell. Paid pandemic leave must be extended to include casual staff who are required to self-quarantine or in cases of where a school closes.
3. Clarifications sought from Chief Health Officer regarding school operations
Our union has today sought an urgent meeting with the Queensland’s Chief Health Officer to consider concerns about the current advice regarding the operation of Queensland schools.
The health and safety of school staff and students must be fundamental to government advice and recent developments here and interstate clearly require further consideration of current policy positions as well as best practice for a school closure in the event of community transmission.
4. Union support and action is here to enforce safety measures
Remember, extensive member resources are available at our COVID-19 Resource Hub.
Our union is here for you. Contact our union if safety precautions are not being maintained in your workplace.