We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shutterstock/Anna Nahabed
Vaccine Priority

All three teachers' unions seek meeting with government, NPHET and NIAC over vaccine roll out

The unions say the meeting would explore “creative solutions” to guarantee that schools can remain open.

ALL THREE TEACHERS’ unions have written a letter to the Department of Education demanding a meeting with government and public health officials to discuss Covid-19 vaccine prioritisation.

The ASTI, INTO and TUI issued a joint statement today demanding an “urgent” meeting to discuss teachers’ concerns about the change to the roll out that will see the jabs administered based on age rather than profession.

The move has angered teachers, who argue that they face significant risk of infection due to their exposure to students in settings where ventilation may be poor and social distancing is difficult.

Earlier this week, the unions voted in favour of an emergency motion backing industrial action, up to and including strike action, if they are not prioritised for vaccination.

“At all times, the unions have made clear that they are not looking for prioritisation ahead of vulnerable and high-risk adults or frontline healthcare workers,” today’s statement says.

The unions say the meeting would allow the concerns of teachers, including those who are pregnant or considered high-risk, to be expressed and it would “explore creative solutions to guarantee our schools can remain open in the face of the ongoing pandemic”.

The unions requested that the meeting should include officials from key government departments, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

“It remains the view of the three teacher unions and of many other unions, associations, and representative groups that a parallel process of vaccination for those who live and work in crowded settings which are essential to maintaining public services should be organised alongside the age-based approach to the inoculation of those aged between 64 and 16,” the statement adds.

Earlier this week, the Minister for Education Norma Foley said NIAC’s recommendation on vaccine prioritisation is “very, very clear” and all evidence points to the fact that people are most vulnerable to Covid-19 based on their age.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel