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"The impact of coronavirus has shone a light on the multiple areas of institutional sexism and the systemic discrimination and disadvantage experienced by women in the workplace", said General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach.

Dr Roach was speaking at the NASUWT's Women Teachers’ Consultation Conference 2020, which focused on the theme of “Women Teachers: Leading in Crisis”.

Dr Patrick Roach said: 

"The Coronavirus emergency has also highlighted how it is women workers, including our members, workers on the frontline who have kept the country going throughout the pandemic.

"And, with the announcements from the Government in the last week, we know that it is our members, together with workers in our NHS, social care and other frontline services who are being asked to shoulder the burden, yet again, in defeating this pandemic and keeping the public safe."

Delegates were informed about how the NASUWT has been instrumental in holding the Government to account throughout the pandemic.

The NASUWT has:

  • made clear to the Government that gender equality must be a central part of Covid-19 recovery and the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review
  • asked for action by the regulators – the EHRC – to hold Government to account for its failures during this crisis
The Union has also asked the EHRC to secure action from the Government on:
 
  • comprehensive COVID-19 equality data collection
  • equality audits
  • integration of equality issues into Government guidance for schools
  • action on discriminatory employment practices during this crisis.
And, the NASUWT has called on the EHRC to use its statutory powers to:
 
  • conduct a formal investigation into the Government’s Covid-19 emergency response in relation to schools and colleges.  

Dr Roach concluded his keynote speech by saying:

"We must commit to shaping a new normal - one that is predicated on no return to the inequalities that have besieged the world of work, labour markets and society in the past.

"Not a normal which says that unequal pay between women and men is just the way things are.

"We must reject the return to a normal in which the rights of women teachers are undermined as a lack of rules and regulations that are properly enforced.

"We must reject a return to a normal that is based on under-investment in education and which fails to value and reward all teachers, and especially women.

"And, we must campaign to reject a return to normal which means unscrupulous umbrella companies and employment agencies can continue to exploit supply teachers, drive down their pay and rip off schools and the taxpayer.

"This crisis has shown our Union’s capacity to respond to these challenges and to act in the interests of all of our members."

As well as hearing from the General Secretary, women members also had the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops on key issues and take part in a real-time electronic poll to share their experiences of juggling their work and home lives during the coronavirus crisis.

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