The ASTI Central Executive Committee met today, Saturday, and decided to ballot its members in relation to a number of key issues which have emerged since schools re-opened.
The meeting heard that ASTI members have serious concerns about the health and safety of school communities. Issues raised include:
- Physical distancing in schools
- Provision of PPE
- The definition of close contacts
- Comprehensive testing and testing turnaround times
- Provisions for high risk teachers
- 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,” ASTI President Ann Piggott said today. “The safety of students and their teachers must be the priority.”
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 faced by returning teachers who are being forced to work precarious contacts and those enduring unequal pay.