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Members of the Association of Secondary School Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) voted to take action if key Covid-19 issues are not addressed.
Ben Birchall
Members of the Association of Secondary School Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) voted to take action if key Covid-19 issues are not addressed.
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Secondary school teachers vote to take action if Covid-19 issues not addressed 

Secondary school teachers across Ireland have voted to take Industrial action if the government does not address key Covid-19 issues immediately.

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) have voted to take action against the government if issues relating to safety in schools during Covid-19 are not resolved.

The issues outlined in the vote included the need for a comprehensive testing programme, rapid testing and turnaround and appropriate resources for schools to ensure that they can continue learning in the case of a school closure or if self-isolation is required.

Speaking on the vote, ASTI President Ann Piggott said that teachers want schools to remain open, but the government must address the issues.

“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," she said.

“We must be supported in sustaining education for our children and young people."

ASTI members have also decided that they will not accept unilateral decisions by some schools to introduce changes without consulting with staff.

“The ASTI will not countenance exploitative attempts to introduce unnecessary work changes without consensus which have a further negative impact on teachers. This smacks of crisis opportunism,” said Ms Piggott.

In a separate ballot, members also voted to take action for equal pay for all teachers who entered the profession from the year 2010 onwards.