The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers is truly concerned by the reports it has been receiving, stating that LSEs, LSE relievers, KGEs, KGE relievers, teachers, peripatetic teachers, complementary teachers and teachers offering other services, are being asked to take up multiple replacements during the day in more than one class in the primary sector.
These educators are being put in a position where the likelihood of exposure to the COVID-19 virus is way greater than should be considered acceptable. Expecting these educators to perform as requested would automatically imply that they will be penetrating into a number of bubbles, exponentially increasing the odds of contracting the virus, and subsequently possibly transmitting the virus across bubbles to a point where contact tracing will become an extremely complicated and long-winded process, with possible infected people being overlooked, not out of negligence on the part of our Health Authorities, because of the sheer numbers involved.
The risks involved in performing such duties in the primary sector are significantly higher than those performing similar duties in middle schools and secondary schools. This is due to the fact that the children in the primary sector, unlike those in the other sectors, spend most of their day in class without masks or visors, thus creating an environment which is less controlled in terms of the spread of the virus.
With the aim of safeguarding the health and safety of its members, the UPE is issuing the following directive:
LSEs, LSE relievers, KGEs, KGE relievers, teachers, peripatetic teachers, complementary teachers, and teachers offering other services, who are members of the UPE, and who are being asked to take up replacements in the primary sector, are to refuse to take on more than one replacement per day.
Should any of our members have any further queries, or feel they are being coerced into complying with requests going against the above directive, are invited to contact the union via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our offices on 2590 5400.