Work from home must be supported to protect public safety

Our union has today been engaged in urgent discussions with Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) seeking a clear commitment to work from home options for school staff.

Our message to all employers has been clear – health directives must be followed and employees should be working remotely wherever possible.

We escalated this issue based on the widespread feedback from members in BCE schools concerned with their ability to access work from home once Alternative Education Provision (AEP) is in place. You can read an example of the issues initially raised with Brisbane Catholic Education here.

Members will welcome the commitment that has now been provided by BCE that only essential staff will be required to attend school workplaces from Tuesday, 3 August. This is a common sense position that reflects the remote work arrangements already in place in many other Catholic and independent schools.

Please contact our union immediately if you require support in relation to any specific work from home issues or staffing arrangements at your school.

Read more about our union’s advocacy for safe working conditions for all employees in our latest COVID-19 member advisory below 👇

Excerpts from our latest member advisory – 2 August 2021

Authorities plead for all employers to do the right thing

“If you are in an office today, why aren’t you at home.”
Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer – Monday, 2 August 2021

The current public health emergency requires immediate and decisive action to safeguard the health and safety of all school staff.

Our union has been in negotiations with employers and liaising with government authorities to ensure best practice safety measures are adhered to.

Latest government directive: lockdown extended to Sunday, 8 August

Today’s latest government health advice has confirmed lockdown arrangements will continue until Sunday, 8 August in the eleven South-East QLD local government areas.

While the extended lockdown will pose significant challenges for our school communities, we have been here before and the professionalism and dedication of our members is up to the task.

All schools should provide genuine work from home options

Public health advice has repeatedly confirmed the requirement in SEQ to avoid commuting and onsite work attendance in favour of work from home.

“Can they (employees) be working from home? If the answer is yes then that’s where they should be”. “We’re trying to save lives. The rules are stricter this time”.
Yvette Dath, QLD Minister for Health – Monday, 2 August 2021

The Chief Health Officer has authorised workplace attendance by essential workers only in cases where the employee is unable to perform their work remotely.

We know Alternative Education Provisions (AEP) have previously been successfully delivered by teachers working remotely away from their school site.

Our collective support will enforce safe workplaces

As always our COVID-19 Resource Hub will be updated with further advice and resources.