Another failure of Government to provide for measures they have already announced
-Absence of official Covid-19 safety guidance means SNA’s won’t take part in Summer Programme.
The Government announced July Provision more than 10 days ago and still haven’t put in place basic procedures to allow it to proceed, said Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin after Fórsa the Union representing Special Needs Assistants have advised their members not to take part in the Summer Education Programme as the Department have not published Covid-19 safety guidelines to provide the service.
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:
“This is another failure of Government to provide for measures they have already announced. July provision is due to commence in little over a week and the Minister has again failed to outline how the proposed scheme will operate.
“Fórsa are quite right to ask their members not to take part in the programme given the lack of basic safety guidance around the numbers who can attend, what PPE SNA’s require and what new hygiene measures will be needed.
“If this is how the Government have handled a summer education programme involving a relatively small number of students returning to school, I dread to think of the logistical nightmare that awaits us when it comes to allowing all schools to reopen in the Autumn.
“I asked the Minister during a Dáil debate two weeks ago to clarify what would happen if schools refused to take part in the July Provision programme and he couldn’t answer then and todays intervention from Fórsa shows that he still can’t answer me now.
“Furthermore, the failure of the Government to produce these important safety guidelines shows a lack of respect by the Department of Education for Special Needs Assistants and is also in violation of the “Safe Return to Work Protocol” agreed at national level between the Government, employers and unions.