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Coronavirus and TSSA

17 March 2020

As you may have seen in the media there is a significant body amongst the scientific community who doubt that the measures which the British government is asking us to take, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, are good enough. This is not helped by the fact that different governments across Britain and Ireland are taking differing views on what needs to be done and when.

Our Executive Committee (EC) has therefore, as a consequence of the pandemic, decided to suspend our 2020 Annual Delegate Conference scheduled for June.

The available medical advice seems to expect that this outbreak will peak in Britain and Ireland between late Spring and Summer. It is therefore, the intention of our EC to reschedule our Annual Delegate Conference in the Autumn when the Coronavirus pandemic is expected to have subsided. Our efforts to book a venue for this to happen are currently being hampered by the evolving uncertainty around the pandemic - many hotels are not taking bookings at the moment - and the herd effect which has seen a raft of organisations looking to re-book events for the Autumn which have been recently cancelled and/or postponed. We will contact you in due course, when we have more details on the rescheduling of our Annual Delegate Conference, should this prove possible.

The decision to suspend our Conference was not one taken lightly, or in isolation. We are already aware that some Branches have cancelled upcoming meetings and that the decisions being taken to protect vulnerable individuals will also limit the ability of many of our members to engage at any level in our democratic processes. It is therefore also necessary to postpone ongoing Conference elections as well as the election of the EC member for the North East Division.

Our EC would also like to ask all our Branches, SOGs and Divisional Councils as a precautionary measure to cancel any meetings they have planned for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, we will be actively looking to safeguard the democracy of our union by looking for technological solutions to facilitate important EC decisions over the next few months.

Our union will this week begin the process of putting measures into place to facilitate our staff working from home and further communications will follow this week detailing the arrangements that are being put in place to support our members during this very difficult time. We would advise you all to check the website and various social media platforms where there will be further updates.

Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation, understanding and patience.

Manuel Cortes General Secretary

Mick Carney President


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