eNews - 16 March 2020 - COVID-19

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COVID-19

The SSTUWA is liaising closely with government on issues related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), including attending briefings to raise member concerns.

As part of this process the SSTUWA is calling for open communication with educators across schools and TAFEs on the issue of COVID-19. While clearly the community needs to follow the advice of medical experts regarding Coronavirus, it is essential that principals, teachers and lecturers receive a full explanation of the reasoning behind not closing schools and TAFEs.

The SSTUWA is also seeking advice on the practicalities of managing social distancing in a school context. This is of particular concern in early childhood and special needs settings.

The union welcomes advice from the Director General to principals advising them to cancel non-essential gatherings of over 500 people including swimming and sports carnivals, interschool carnivals, performances, concerts, exhibitions, fetes and fairs.

Principals of schools with over 500 students have also been told to not hold full assemblies; they must also stagger recess and lunch breaks.

Please note that in circumstances where individual parents withdraw their children from school, without a direction from government, there is no requirement for teachers to provide additional work/lessons for those students.

Where to get advice

Please note the SSTUWA will assist with individual industrial issues. However it is crucial that people seek health and other advice only from official sources.

School members with concerns about their workplace should read the DoE supplied information here. If you still have worries consult with your line manager.

The DoE is also issuing regular bulletins via Ed-e-Mail and Ikon, with particular advice for some school leaders in respect to addressing issues at schools with over 500 students, managing a school closure, messaging to parents and how to process leave of staff in this matter.

Today (Monday 16 March 2020) new advice was offered by Public Sector Labour Relations updating information on self-isolation and leave. That can be found at the bottom of the page here.

TAFE has issued the following advice.

For health advice the WA Health Department has these updates. You can find Federal Government information here. You can also call 1800 020 080.