Following the First Minister and Depute First Minister’s announcements to begin the recovery of schools and education establishments in June, Renfrewshire Council advised the trade unions that the cleaning and preparations of buildings will commence from Monday 1st June 2020.
I appreciate that this will have raised some cause for concern especially given the short notice. UNISON and EIS (teaching union) had a joint meeting this week and agreed to produce a “guide for the recovery of schools and checklist”. The jointly agreed document has been submitted and accepted by the Council. It sets out our position to ensure the appropriate safety measures and steps required are addressed prior to your return to work.
Myself, your Service Conditions and Health & Safety Officers have been engaged in talks with the Council’s HR, Health & Safety Section and Head of Service over the past couple of days, to ensure that all circumstances and safety measures have been addressed.
Risk assessments have been received and reviewed by us and we can confirm that they cover everything that is required to be put in place prior to the next phase when Children Services Staff and Pupils begin returning.
Please see the following:
- From Monday 1st June 2020, all schools will be open from 8am – 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8am – 4pm Friday.
- Cleaning staff will be present in schools throughout the day.
- Housekeeping will be carried out to ensure all surfaces are clear and accessible for cleaning.
- Due to reduced staffing resources there will not be janitorial cover in all schools, staff are being asked to continue to contact the Soft FM mailbox if any porterage tasks require to be carried out – this will ensure E & I can manage the staffing resources available across the school estate – local arrangements should, therefore not be made with any janitors on site.
- Training and tool box talks will take place for all staff on Monday when they report for duty, this will include all the controls around COVID 19, for example physical distancing; hand washing etc
- Thereafter, the process for all schools will be to apply the standard school template that is currently being developed and that we will share with you in due course and add any specifics to the controls for that named school.
- Week commencing 1 June 2020 there will be joint trade union and health and safety officers to carry out site inspections
- Please note – the council’s position remains the same for those employees who are currently shielding or at risk and that is they should remain at home and if able to do so continue to work from home.
Classroom and Additional Support Needs Assistants will not be undertaking cleaning duties as this is provided directly by trained staff employed in Environment & Infrastructure Services.
Staff returning on Monday 1st June 2020 have been designated “key-worker” status. Therefore anyone experiencing issues with childcare will be allocated space through the current “HUB” arrangements – please contact your line manager for further details.
UNISON will continue to monitor this developing situation and I can assure members that we will put your health, safety and well-being at the heart of any decisions undertaken by us.
Should you experience any difficulties in the workplace, please contact the branch office by telephone, email or through our Facebook page. We have branch officers on call to respond to any situation regarded as urgent.