The Independent Education Union, which represents more than 32,000 teachers and school support staff throughout NSW and the ACT, is calling for consultation and clarity from the State Government as teachers, support staff and students prepare for the return to school.
Given the current high COVID infection rates, the union expects the government and employers to work together on WHS provisions such as:
· ventilation in classrooms
· student vaccination
· access to COVID testing
· booster shots for school staff
· impact of potential staff shortages
“If teachers and support staff require a booster to be fully vaccinated, what is the proposed timeline and what support will be in place to ensure they can access this vaccination?” Smith said.
The IEU is ready to work together with employers and the State Government to make the return to school as streamlined as possible, but there must be consultation every step of the way, and the resources and support to help teachers and other educational staff get back to work safely needs to be in place.
“At the moment, the situation is confusing for teachers, employers, parents and the union,” Smith said.
“It is critical that everyone’s health and safety is protected, otherwise the return to school could turn into a super spreader event.”