Students should only return when safe to do so - Public Service Association

Students should only return when safe to do so

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Today the PSA Schools Departmental Committee Executive called on the Government to only return Year 12 students to school-based learning when it was safe to do so.

“It is the PSA’s fundamental view that safety must be the primary consideration for any plan to return students to school-based learning,” said PSA Senior Vice President and Chair of the Schools DC Juliette Sizer.

“What is important here is the safety of not just staff and students, but the entire community.”

The Executive’s motion is as follows:

“The PSA Schools Departmental Committee Executive recommends that until such time as an agreed plan for the safe return of Year 12 students to schools in COVID-affected areas from 16 August has been presented and agreed to, no PSA member is to support the return or undertake tasks around the vaccination or testing of students.

“We have noted the comments of the Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union concerning the announcement by the Government. This decision was made without any discussion or agreement with the relevant people who would have to implement such a plan, or indeed any apparent plan to ensure it was done so safely for students and staff.”

Your Industrial staff have been in contact with the Teachers Federation on this issue, discussing the Government’s lack of a plan – with Stewart Little meeting with the head of the Teachers’ Federation this morning.

In addition, staff met with the Department this morning to raise members’ issues and get an update on when a plan for the return of Year 12 students will be available. The Department was unable to answer many of our questions and is still not able to provide any plans for the vaccination of staff, students or the testing of students at school.

The Department’s only response was to refer the PSA to the Premier’s public comments in her daily briefings. With only 10 days until students are supposedly due back, it is difficult to see how the Department can meet the deadline.

The PSA supports the comments of our teaching colleagues in the Public and Private school systems. Your union calls on the Department to engage in full consultation and for any plan to be agreed by all stakeholders, before any date for a return to school is set in stone.

PSA Schools members’ health and safety is too important to be ignored!

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