Secondary school teachers in the ASTI trade union have voted for industrial action over Covid-19 safety issues in schools.
Schools are expected to open as normal after mid-term, but the threat of strike action remains on the agenda.
Teachers with the ASTI are calling on the government to immediately address key Covid-19 issues in schools. These include the need for a comprehensive testing programme, rapid testing and turnaround, and appropriate resources for schools to ensure continuation of learning where there are school closures/ self-isolation.
ASTI President Ann Piggott said: “ASTI members are clearly stating that they want schools to remain open for students during this pandemic. They are demanding that the Government step up and provide 24-hour test turnaround, a redefinition of close contacts for school settings, a comprehensive testing programme, and appropriate arrangements for teachers categorised as ‘high risk’. We must be supported in sustaining education for our children and young people.”
In a separate ballot, ASTI members voted to take industrial action for equal pay for equal work, to be taken in conjunction with one or both of the other teacher unions.
“ASTI members remain absolutely committed to achieving equal pay for teachers who entered the profession from 2010. We will not stop until this abhorrent inequity is removed,” said the ASTI President.