Government urged to honour key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus

The Government is being urged to formally back a minute's silence tomorrow to remember school staff and all key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus, by a leading teacher's union.

A call to the Government to take a moment to pay tribute to teachers, school staff, and all key workers who have died from Covid-19 should be made to "honour the sacrifice of frontline workers", according to NASUWT Teacher's union general secretary Dr Patrick Roach.

Dr Roach said the Government, administrations and employers across the UK, should join the union tomorrow, for a minute's silence to remember those key workers who have died due to COVID-19. The moment of silence will be held at 11am on Tuesday, April 28, which is International Workers' Memorial Day.

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He 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.

The moment of silence will be held at 11am on Tuesday, April 28, which is International Workers' Memorial Day. Photo credit: Other

“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."

Workers’ Memorial Day is held annually to highlight the workers who have lost their lives or been made ill at work and to reiterate the importance of health and safety in the workplace.

Dr Roach added given the number of key workers who have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19 while working on the frontline, this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day provides a timely opportunity to pay tribute and give thanks to the sacrifices of those who are doing so much to keep the country running during the pandemic.

The NASUWT Teacher's union call for action follows on from a similar rallying cry from Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives, who between them represent more than a million NHS and public service workers, including porters, refuse collectors and care staff.

The trio of union's launched a campaign last week for the nation to take a moment to honour frontline staff who have died from Covid-19.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has written to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urging the Government to back the tribute.

In his letter, Mr Prentis said the deaths of "selfless" health and social care workers on the frontline are a "national tragedy".

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he regarded proposals for a time of national reflection to be a "very good idea" and that his department was "looking into it".

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