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A teacher’s strike could be on the way, as ASTI expresses Covid-19 safety concerns


By Erin Lindsay
21st Sep 2020
A teacher’s strike could be on the way, as ASTI expresses Covid-19 safety concerns

The ASTI has confirmed that strikes are an option for teachers around Ireland


The ASTI has said that a teacher’s strike may be considered as a response to growing safety concerns around Covid-19 in schools.

The secondary school’s teacher’s union is in the process of ballotting its members for industrial action in response to a number of “key issues” that have emerged since schools reopened earlier this month.

Some of the issues raised by ASTI include physical distancing in schools; provision of PPE; the definition of ‘close contacts’; test turnaround times; and resources for students and teachers to facilitate remote teaching and learning.

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

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie said that the union “wants to keep schools open” but the option of strike action could not be ruled out. He added that “those decisions have not been made and won’t be made for some several weeks until the balloting process has been completed.”

The ASTI ballot will also cover difficulties faced by teachers returning to work on ‘precarious contracts’ and unequal pay.


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