Dear UTU member,

As you may now be aware the Stormont Executive has announced that all schools will close from the end of the school day on Friday 20 March for teachers.

The Ulster Teachers’ Union have been engaging with management side, politicians and other organisations highlighting the many concerns that school leaders and teachers have regarding many issues.

As a Union our motto is ‘Caring for Teachers, Caring for Children’. We hope that solutions are put in place to deal with issues such as vulnerable pupils in receipt of free school meals and also those who don’t have ICT facilities at home. We feel for the pupils who have been preparing for GCSE, GCE or other examinations. The care of children of frontline health workers dealing with this pandemic is also upmost in our minds.

Any substitute teacher bookings and agreements have to be honoured or a teacher being forced to start maternity leave early by schools should read the EA advice, clarify why they have been cancelled or forced to start maternity and contact us for further advice.

In the next few days and weeks we will meet many more challenges and will inform members with further updates and advice later this week.
In the meantime, please know that our Officials, Officers and Central Executive Committee are available for contact as in yesterday’s email. 

Susan Thompson Jacquie White Stephen McCord
President General Secretary Vice President
Ulster Teachers’ Union