COVID-19: PSA Calls on Education Department to Maintain SSO Employment

26 March 2020

PSA General Secretary Nev Kitchin, Team Leader Organising, and SSO Organiser  met via teleconference on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 with Department for Education (DE) People and Culture leaders to discuss employment provisions for SSOs amid the current Corona Virus Pandemic.

The PSA’s position is that no member should lose their job as a result of this pandemic. A large number of concerns have been raised by SSOs who are employed on term-by-term contracts about what their rights are with regard to gaining a contract for Term 2.

The Department has committed that employment decisions will be made on a business as usual basis - that is - staff will be offered employment as if there were no pandemic, no reduction in student numbers, and no school closures.

The PSA understands that this still leaves a lot of uncertainty. Members tell us time and again how they are not offered their new contract until the first day of term, how schools cut hours and make changes to employment based on budget considerations rather than on school need or employee rights, and how contracts suddenly don not get renewed despite long-term rolling contracts for years prior. 

The only way to fight against this inconsistent and often unfair approach to contract employment in schools is to do it collectively. By providing this information to your union, the PSA, we can collate the issues across schools and take these directly to the people who can hold site leaders to account and require them to do better.

Please send any instances of decisions made in schools that are contrary to the commitment in bold above by email. All emails will be kept confidential and examples will be raised with the department by school name only, except in instances where individuals request us to raise issues directly on their behalf.

By working together, these issues that can feel too big to tackle as a small fish in a very large pond start to become more manageable because we don not need to do it alone.