Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 24/11/2014. Tags: Education And Politics Teachers
The Dept of Education has issued a letter to school management
bodies advising that "It is a matter for school management to decide whether their school(s) should open for pupils on Tuesday 2 December 2014. In reaching this decision, account should be taken of the potential Health & Safety risks inherent in opening the school as normal, in view of the anticipated number of staff expected to take part in this work stoppage.
The strike, voted in a ballot by teachers’ unions over the ongoing controversy of Junior Cert changes, will not affect non-teaching staff, therefore SNA’s, caretakers and administration staff must be able to access work otherwise any absence will result in a deduction of wages. According to the Irish Independent today: “If the workers cannot be seen to make themselves available for duty, they would be deemed to be "locked out", adding to the industrial relations nightmare for schools and the Department of Education. The department and school management bodies are drawing up elaborate arrangements to deal with the consequences of the stoppage, which will affect almost 730 schools”
The Department's letter
to school management bodies states that "the management of each school should make appropriate arrangements to record the attendance or absence of all Department-paid teaching and non-teaching staff employed by the school". However, Unions have asserted that teaching staff and Principals will not be available to record attendance of non-teaching staff, so staff must either ‘sign-in’ themselves or Boards of Management must find a way to allow staff not participating in the strike to indicate their availability for work.
If schools are not able to open due the logistical issues of the strike, the Dept of Education has commented that, “care should be taken to ensure that all parents and children are notified of this decision in
adequate time, to allow for alternative arrangements to be made.”
A further follow on strike is due to take place in January.