Staff at Birtenshaw School test positive for coronavirus

The joint unions in Bolton have raised concerns after staff at Birtenshaw school for children with special needs have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Julia Simpkins, of Bolton NEU, said:”Our members do not know who has tested positive because of GDPR and are in a panic.

“They want to be retested to make sure they are okay.

She added: “I had been told some one had tested positive at the school and was told that there could be more than one.”

Ms Simpkins said: “It is just so worrying.

“Staff have raised concerns with their unions, but Birtenshaw refused to speak with union representatives saying that they have chosen not to have a trade union recognition agreement so did not have to engage with unions.”

Ryan Quick, Unison Branch Organiser said: “This is a very anxious and worrying time for all of our members at Birtenshaw. That’s why communication is absolutely vital so we can work together to resolve any issues and concerns. We need openness and transparency on all sides otherwise staff will lose faith that their concerns will be taken seriously. We need to be able to work together for the safety and wellbeing of children and staff alike. Whilst I have been told there are three confirmed cases, it would not surprise me at all if there were more”.

Andrea Egan, Unison Branch Secretary added:“This is a very serious situation. We actively encourage our members to come forward to highlight any concerns that they may have.

“We want to remind all employers that they have a duty of care to their workforce, where employers fail in that duty we will take matters further. If necessary this may include legal action.”

For the full report from Saiqa Chaudhari, visit the Bolton News