The Union of Professional Educators – Voice Of The Workers has notified the Permanent Secretary in a recent meeting of the Union’s grave concern with the current Job Description parameters. MEDE insists that an LSE is required to individually lift 27Kgs on a daily basis:
“Lifting up to 27 kilograms shall be undertaken by one Supply LSA”.
According to the Job Description Handbook 2007, MEDE and OHSA are obliged to revise the Job Description every two years.
“The Education Authorities shall at two-yearly regular intervals request the Occupational Health and Safety Authority to review the above-mentioned guidelines with the view of either confirming them or adjusting them to ensure the health and safety of the employees concerned.”
It is disappointing to report that to date it seems that the Education authorities have not undertaken any such review since the UPE has not received a positive reply from Dr F. Fabri.
The Union would like to point out that from 2007 to 2019, five documents should have been issued, with employees being notified of the results. This sorry state of affairs begs the question if the current inaction could be the result of OHSA being understaffed or MEDE having forgotten to request the reports.
In labour-friendly countries around the world, where loads weigh more than 10Kgs, the employer must provide training and create individually suited work procedures. Unfortunately MEDE & OHSA expect LSE’s to lift more than a 7-inch concrete brick that weighs 26.65Kgs. One has to keep in mind that a concrete brick is immobile, unlike vulnerable children in our care. In practice, an LSE lifts more than a builder on a daily basis!
UPE cannot and will not tolerate an outdated document that goes against today’s standard international Health and Safety procedures. The Union of Professional Educators, which genuinely looks after educators’ well-being, will monitor the situation carefully. If the Union will not see any positive change in line with European labour practices, it will have no option but to notify the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work of the deplorable situation our LSEs find themselves in.