The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has once again called for unvaccinated pregnant teachers to be allowed to work remotely until they acquire significant vaccine protection.
TUI is seriously concerned for those teachers who have been advised that they should not receive a vaccine until they are at least 14 weeks pregnant, yet under guidance issued by the Department of Education, are due to return to face-to-face teaching. The union has highlighted the severe stress and anxiety that this situation is causing for those affected.
The return to face-to-face teaching for these teachers represents a departure from last year, where pregnant teachers were facilitated in working remotely.
The Department has, to date, refused to make provision for this small cohort of unvaccinated teachers whose numbers will steadily decrease.
Speaking today, TUI General Secretary Michael Gillespie said:
‘These teachers can be facilitated in working remotely for the limited timeframe required without any loss of service to students.
Pregnancy can be an extremely stressful time and pregnant teachers now have the significant added worry and anxiety of returning to crowded schools and classrooms.
Our specific concern, which we have raised forcefully in several engagements with the Department, is for the over those teachers for whom the timing of their pregnancy precludes them from being vaccinated, as they have been advised that they should not receive a vaccine until they are at least 14 weeks pregnant.
Their return to face-to-face teaching is a departure from the last school year, when pregnant teachers were able to work remotely, and this small group of unvaccinated pregnant teachers should be facilitated to work remotely if they wish until they have the same opportunity as their colleagues to acquire significant vaccine protection.
We have already set out our serious concerns in several engagements with the Department and will continue to seek to have this fundamental unfairness addressed.’