Teachers' union votes for industrial action unless key Covid-19 issues are addressed by government 3 weeks ago

Teachers' union votes for industrial action unless key Covid-19 issues are addressed by government

The ballot paper stated the government should address the concerns by 30 October.

Secondary school teachers have voted in favour of industrial action over safety issues in schools and issues on pay relating to the reopening of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) have been voting over the past week for industrial action over a range of school reopening issues.

The voting was part of a series of ballots on issues such as lower rates of pay for recent entrants to the profession and the redefinition of what constitutes a close contact in a classroom.

In total, ASTI members voted to take action, up to and including industrial action, on:

  • Redefinition of a close contact in a classroom
  • A serial testing programme for schools with guaranteed test turnaround times of 24 hours
  • Equal pay for post-2010 teachers
  • Provision for any teacher in the high-risk category to either teach from home or have guaranteed reasonable accommodations made in school
  • The provision of free laptops for students and teachers for remote learning

Members of the ASTI rejected some ballots which called for free N95 masks for teachers and students as well enforced physical distancing of two metres in classrooms.

The ballot paper stated the government should address the concerns by 30 October.

The ballot also stipulated that no action would be taken without the support of at least one other teachers' union.