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04/08/2021

Teachers are shocked and dismayed at reports of changes to vaccination programme

ASTI Executive recommends rejection of proposed public service agreement

The ASTI is demanding an urgent meeting with the Department of Education

The ASTI has said it is shocked and dismayed by reports of a Government decision to abandon the vaccination of key workers, including school staff, as part of the national vaccination programme.

“The Government has continuously stated that a key objective is to keep schools open. Yesterday's decision is totally at odds with and undermines this objective,” said ASTI President Ann Piggott.

“Teachers and other school staff are frontline workers. We want schools to remain open, however teachers have a right to safe working environment, just as other essential workers who cannot work remotely do.

“It is particularly reprehensible that there has been no consultation prior to these reports. This news represents a major blow to teachers’ confidence.

“Teachers are working in difficult circumstances, many of them spending a significant part of their working day in poorly ventilated buildings and in classrooms of 28 to 30 students. Socially distancing can be a major problem.

“This is an unacceptable development and shows scant regard for teachers as frontline workers.”

The ASTI said it will be demanding an urgent meeting with the Department of Education.

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