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.

You can read an example of our letter sent to employers here.

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.

You can read details of our concerns raised with the Chief Health Officer here.

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.

Union support and action is here to enforce safety measures

Remember, our member resources are available at COVID-19 Resource Hub. 

Our union is here for you. Contact our union if safety precautions are not being maintained in your workplace.