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Secondary teachers to vote on serious health and safety concerns raised in relation to teaching during Covid-19

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(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

Secondary teachers are to vote on serious health and safety concerns raised in relation to teaching during the Covid pandemic.

The central executive committee of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland decided today to hold a ballot on issues, including physical distancing in schools, provision of personal protective equipment, the definition of close contacts, comprehensive testing and turnaround times, provisions for high risk teachers, and IT resources for students and teachers to facilitate remote teaching/learning.

“The fact that high risk teachers have been asked to work in crowded classroom is unacceptable to us as a trade union. The safety of students and their teachers must be the priority,” said ASTI President Ann Piggott.

Ms Piggott said teachers are reporting that new work practices are being implemented without any consultation with school staff. “It is unthinkable that at a time when teachers have demonstrated tremendous commitment to their students and to keeping education going, that schools would introduce work changes which have a further negative impact on teachers’ working lives. This smacks of crisis opportunism and cannot go unchallenged.”

The ASTI ballot will also cover the difficulties involving contracts and unequal pay.

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