Teachers union urge government to reconsider vaccine priority plan

LOUTH Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) representative Catherine Flanaghan has said that teachers’ unions are giving the Government until the summer break to put teachers back on the vaccine priority list.

According to Catherine, the teachers’ unions are hoping the Government will reconsider its decision to end the vaccine priority list that focused on vaccinating some professions.
“The decision was taken without consultation and at a time when the WHO has continued to prioritise teachers for vaccine rollout,” she said.

If the Government doesn’t reverse its decision to switch to a vaccine roll-out schedule led by age rather than occupation, there is a possibility of strike action next term.
“No strike action has been confirmed. It would require a high ballot of two thirds of our members in favour of it for strike action to go ahead,” she said.

All three teacher unions debated a joint motion on Wednesday, April 7 demanding a reversal of the Government decision to remove vaccine prioritisation for teachers.
The INTO, TUI, and ASTI have asked their members to unite in their demand for vaccine prioritisation.
Catherine added: “I’ve got a lot of texts from members in districts to say that they are very happy with the motion.“For teachers, the risk of contracting Covid-19 is significantly higher than for those who can work from home.”

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