Schools ‘manipulating GDPR to stifle teachers’ rights'

TUC calls for Information Commissioner to take action to stop employers denying unions information of 'paramount' importance

gdpr, unions, nasuwt, discrimination, pay, equal pay, redundancy, nasuwt, chris keates

Schools have been accused of manipulating new data protection laws to make it harder for unions to protect teachers from exploitative practices.

The Trades Union Congress’s annual congress today passed a motion calling for the Information Commissioner to take action to prevent the misuse of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The motion was proposed by the NASUWT teaching union, which said some schools and academies are using GDPR to deny unions access to information on redundancy and equal pay.

The motion describes the right of trade unions to have access to information on such matters as “paramount”.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “More and more examples are emerging of employers in the education sector seeking to withhold workforce data, designed to identify discriminatory practices and inequality, thereby preventing trade unions representing their members’ interests.

“Job loss, which causes appalling stress and distress, made worse by employers seeking to withhold vital workforce information needed for unions to seek to protect workers’ rights.

“These actions are nothing to do with protecting people’s personal data and everything to do with employers trying to pursue exploitative working practices and prevent trade unions fighting for decent pay and working conditions for members. 

“We are calling on the TUC to press the Information Commissioner to act and to prevent the manipulation of this important legislation to disadvantage working people.”

The motion calls for the Information Commissioner’s Office issue “clear and unequivocal guidance to protect the rights of trade unions to be provided with information in order to represent and advocate for their members”.

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