Analysis Breaking

Irish teachers to vote on strike action over dangerous pandemic teaching conditions – that are safer than UK

Teachers in Ireland face similar conditions to counterparts in UK – but pupils must wear masks

Irish teaching union ASTI is to ballot its members for strike action over the unsafe conditions teachers – even those at high risk of COVID-19 complications – are being forced to accept.

The move comes amid widespread unrest among Irish workers over the Dublin government’s failures and decisions, with health workers threatening industrial action if concerns about pay and the treatment of health staff are not resolved.

Teachers have raised concerns about failures on issues such as physical distancing; the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE); the definition of close contacts; testing and testing turnaround times; provisions for high risk teachers; and information technology resources for students and teachers to facilitate remote teaching and learning.

While conditions teachers in Ireland face are mostly similar to those in the UK, the classroom setting for Irish teachers is safer in one vital respect – because in Ireland (and consequently in Northern Ireland) pupils – at least in secondary schools – are required to wear facemasks in class unless there are overriding medical reasons against it, while in England they are forbidden to do so, except in corridors and so-called ‘communal areas’.

Tory policies and Labour’s lack of objections have led to an exponentially-rising second wave of infections in the UK, with England fuelling most of the increase – yet even the new, brief lockdown being mooted for the UK does not involve school closures, even though school outbreaks are endemic and the government’s own scientists acknowledge schools are contributing to the rising ‘R rate’.

It’s time for parents and teaching unions to say ‘enough’ – and for Labour to support them, instead of supporting Boris Johnson’s Tories in all their school policies, as Keir Starmer promised again to do this weekend.

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  1. Watching ‘Supportive Starmer’ on Soapy Ridge on Sky. He just can’t stop saying “I support.”
    That and not being Corbyn – and recognising the difficulty of not being Corbyn – seem to be his major selling points. Actually his only selling points.
    Not much of a platform.

  2. The Israeli Embassy, the Board of Deputies and the Blairite rump have much on their, already overburdened consciences. Is there any doubt that a Socialist government would have prevented thousands of unnecessary deaths?

    1. No doubt whatsoever Bevin but even if only 10 people had died of the Covid virus the MSM would have portrayed Jeremy Corbyn as a mass murderer.

      1. Watch out Smartboy, or you’ll have JackT accusing you of being a white flag man!

        But you’re right of course. They might not have been QUITE that explicit, but they wouldn’t have been far off it.

      2. You are probably right Allan Howard but remember they portrayed Jeremy,the most anti racist MP ever, as an antisemite so they are capable of anything .

      3. Well ‘portrayed’ is one way of descibing it, but as you know doubt know, I always use the term ‘transformed’ him in to an anti-semite (in the minds of millions of people). Yes, I have little doubt that they would have been accusing him of being responsible for people dying, and done so despite whatever Jeremy had done to limit the number of deaths AND despite it being common knowledge amongst the population that people are dying in countries all around the world, and all I was saying in my initial post is that I don’t think anyone in the MSM or wherever would have been saying that he ‘murdered’ them, or accusing him of ‘murder’ or ‘mass murder’. Doing THAT would be OTT and probably counter productive.

  3. People in Ireland did not vote for this cobbled together so called government and the fact that Varadakar and his misfits survive under a coalition is a slap in the face for a country that got rid of its tyrents and replaced it with neo liberal scum in a bloody revolution.The revolution must continue and Sinn Fein,a left wing party of the people will finally take control in the next general election.Any country that treats its people with the contempt that the neo liberal government that Ireland has at present treads a dangerous path..This country will not tolerate tyrants of any kind.

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