Advice now clear from DfC - staff with vulnerable persons living with them must apply for special leave which will likely be extended for more than 5 days. However they need to apply first.

Members please find attached to the links below, the most recent letter to schools from the Education Minister and updated FAQs.

Despite the assurances given by the Finance Minister and the communication yesterday from HOCS further issues continue to arise regarding agency workers and particularly what the agencies are saying to their workers.

I am very clear the commitment given to NIPSA by the Minister and HOCS was that Agency Workers would be treated exactly the same as permanent members of staff. It appears that at least some of the Agencies (Premiere People for one) is communicating a different message to Agency Workers indicating they will not be paid or will need to submit fit notes and only get paid SSP.

I have raised this issue this afternoon with Senior Management and they are writing to the various Agencies to clarify the position to ensure no Agency Worker is treated any less favourably than any other employee.

I appreciate that this is a worrying time for all workers. Where you can please communicate this message to members, direct them to the NIPSA website and social media. Further updates will be issued in due course.

Alison Millar
General Secretary

NIPSA has been engaged in discussion with officials from the Education Authority and Department of Education to continue to evaluate the arrangements in place to provide childcare in schools for key workers. The contribution of NIPSA members to support this response to the Covid19 health emergency has been phenomenal.

I am providing a report on the very disappointing outcomes that resulted from a teleconference with management this afternoon. I have set out below a summary of the response to the some of the points we raised.

I am writing to advise that NIPSA and the Trade Unions in Health are collectively working for clearer guidance and updates from the Department of Health and the Trust Employers. We have asked for the latest version of the Frequently Asked Questions to be issued as a matter of urgency and we are seeking a teleconference with the Department of Health and Trust Employers to raise your concerns.