Clean Schools, Safer Schools – COVID Champions!
School cleaning has been identified as one of the campaign targets of the UNISON Scotland Education Issues Group (EIG). Education workers are at the coalface in dealing with COVID 19 being required to ensure that education workplaces are COVID safe day to day as well as to be on hand to deep clean when necessary. It is fair to state that the COVID cases within education establishments mean that our members are constantly in use and are key to Clean Schools being Safer Schools.
“Clean Schools, Safer Schools – School Cleaners – Covid Champions!” would form part 1 – the first cog in the education wheel – of the education staff’s campaign. This campaign can then be replicated across other workgroups e.g. Clean Schools, Safer Schools – EYP’s Covid Champions! etc…
Education members are employed across Scotland in all local authorities. Many Local Authorities have employed temporary cleaners during the pandemic and some local authorities have required to utilise agency cleaners having been unable to recruit temporary workers. The Scottish Government has made extra funding available to employ more cleaners, however, only some LA’s have taken up the extra funding and UNISON’s own cleaning members telling us that they do not have the resources available to them to keep our schools as clean as they would want them to be.
The UNISON RMS (membership system) identifies where each member is based (or was based at the time of joining); some further mapping is required to provide this detail. There is no current mapped detail of where education support staff are members of other trade unions.
Total members working in an educational setting (schools nurseries and FE) across Scotland 22328
It is relevant to note that traditionally many school cleaners will join Unite or the GMB.
- To grow UNISON strength and membership across all education Scottish establishments, starting with cleaners and moving on to other education workgroups.
- To recruit members and organise education activists across Scotland
- To establish UNISON as the union for all school staff
This campaign follows the same model as many recent campaigns (please see full campaign plan attached). The EIG are asking regional staff to work with their LG branches to identify education staff (cleaners in the first instance), make contact, have an initial conversation (scripts and recording sheets attached) and encourage them to become active by attending a UNISON H&S webinar (either Risk
Assessments or Workplace Inspections). This allows us to use already established and known formats of training to engage with existing members.
Courses can be run locally at a branch level, or regionally (by the EIG Organising team) and will tie in with existing structures for recording of training with Activist Education.
We are also asking you to use the graphics provided on your social media outlets to promote the campaign and to follow and promote to your members the EIG Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/409180023494350)
This campaign can be replicated for any workgroup within education services, although it is planned to commence with cleaning staff.
Branches (or individual members) are then able to nominate Covid Champions at the conclusion of each of the campaign. EIG will select a winner and present award with photo opportunity for media release in conjunction with the B&C team.
There is a timeline noted in the campaign plan, but this is indicative only. As given school closures and staggered start backs this has already slipped somewhat. However, this campaign does need to be run during the ongoing pandemic, so some recognition of this needs to be taken by both staff and branches.
- Social Media Graphics – done for many workgroups, if you want them for any other groups please let us know.
- Script for calling members
- Recording sheet for members calls
- Link to EIG Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/409180023494350