Union to source face masks for school staff

Fórsa is planning to provide face masks directly to its members working in schools where local management has failed to provide them.

The union’s head of education, Andy Pike, said it was not Fórsa’s responsibility to provide SNAs secretaries and caretakers with PPE, but delays in a number of schools had forced the union’s hand.

“Given the serious situation with provision of PPE, Fórsa is developing plans to provide these masks directly to members who cannot access them in their own school. We have to do all we can to ensure members can work as safely as possible,” he said.

In a bulletin circulated to schools staff last week, Andy said the union was stepping up efforts to ensure every member who cannot maintain two metres of social distance has a basic medical face mask.

Last week, Fórsa and other unions representing school-based staff achieved significant, though insufficient, reassurances on measures to protect school students and staff in a recently-established forum involving representatives of the education department, the HSE, and its public health experts.