Schools are back –  but strike fears grow

Looking forward to seeing you! Pictured at Scoil Bhríde (Fourmilehouse) recently were pupils Evan, Nathaniel, Jacob and Sophie. Thousands more pupils will return to Roscommon schools from Monday next. Picture: Mick McCormack
Looking forward to seeing you! Pictured at Scoil Bhríde (Fourmilehouse) recently were pupils Evan, Nathaniel, Jacob and Sophie. Thousands more pupils will return to Roscommon schools from Monday next. Picture: Mick McCormack

There are growing fears that teachers could be set for strike action due to anger over the updated vaccination roll-out as thousands of children prepare to return to the classrooms of County Roscommon next Monday.

It emerged earlier this week that three teachers’ unions, INTO, TUI and ASTI, have backed an emergency motion that could lead to ballots on industrial action.

The decision comes following last week’s decision, based on advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to prioritise vaccinations by age rather than by job, which would see teachers and other staff pushed further down the queue.

The emergency motion commits the unions to ballot for industrial action if the Government doesn’t agree to prioritise teachers by the end of June. The unions have said they will begin balloting by the end of April.

Both the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the Minister for Education Norma Foley have ruled out any changes to the roll-out plan but now face possible strikes unless a last-ditch compromise can be found.