Major teaching union joins fellow unions in calls for a minute’s silence tomorrow (28 April) to honour the key workers who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government is being urged to take a moment to pay tribute to teachers, school staff and all key workers who have died from COVID-19 in order to “honour the sacrifice of frontline workers”, according to NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach.
Dr Roach said the government, as well as institutions and employers across the country, should join the union tomorrow for a minute’s silence to honour and remember the key workers who have lost their lives while fighting COVID-19.
The minute’s silence is being held at 11am tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April), and coincides with International Workers’ Memorial Day.
Dr Roach said:
Workers’ Memorial Day provides an opportunity for us all to remember teachers and other workers who are playing a vital role to protect the public.
It seems that every day at present brings more tragic news of frontline workers dying from Coronavirus, some of whom are likely to have been exposed to the virus whilst at work but without access to the protective equipment they need.
We should not forget them or the thousands of key workers who are experiencing the mental strain of continuing to serve the country at what is an incredibly stressful, anxious and pressurised time.
NASUWT’s call for action follows similar calls from other unions including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives, who represent more than a million NHS and public service workers. Last week, these unions joined forces to urge the government to recognise and participate in the minute’s silence of key workers.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has also written to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urging the Government to back the tribute.
In his letter, Mr Prentis described the deaths of “selfless” key workers on the frontline are a “national tragedy”.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden responded to the calls and said he believed the proposals for a time of national reflection to be a “very good idea” and that his department was “looking into it” – although nothing further has been said by the government on the matter.