Schools & Academies in England, Second Member Update – 8th January 2021

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Dear Member   

We hope this finds you well at the end a busy of week.   

Reduced pupil numbers mean reduced numbers of staff and GMB does not accept that support staff should be being asked to attend school, during this current lockdown, to carry out duties not directly involving the provision of education for vulnerable children or the children of key workers.  

The issue of support staff being treated so differently to their teaching colleagues is a collective one. The concerns you have been expressing to us about there being no rotas in place, being responsible for delivering the majority of teaching and being asked to attend to work to carry out cleaning duties can be addressed by all affected GMB members submitting a collective grievance.   

Being a member of GMB means there is a collective strength in dealing with any workplace issues and you are not alone. We know it is not easy to raise individual concerns with Head Teachers. A collective grievance is a way of taking the spotlight away from individuals and ensures the Head Teacher has to respond and address your issues. Attached is a template Collective Grievance letter which you can adapt to reflect in more detail examples of what is happening in your school and submit to the Head Teacher. 

Please contact your rep, Branch, Regional Organiser or if you are doing this so that GMB can support you with this process and also make representation on your behalf. The demands currently being placed on Teaching Assistants are both unfair and unreasonable and must be brought to attention and challenged. GMB knows members are fully committed to ensuring the welfare and wellbeing of children but will not allow for this commitment to be misused and abused. 

We are aware we have sent you emails every day this week containing quite detailed information and we hope you will be able to take the time to go through this. It is not our intention to either bombard or overwhelm you, but it is important that all our schools' based members are provided with the most up to date information at this serious and challenging time. 

GMB London would thank you for your continued support. 

With kind regards, 

Lisa Bangs, GMB London Region Organiser — Schools and Academies

Keith Williams, GMB London Region Senior Organiser 


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