English Language Teachers from the trade union Unite will protest at lunchtime today outside the Department of Further and Higher Education on Marlborough Street. The teachers are protesting the “premature and unsafe” reopening of schools for face-to-face classes. They say that Simon Harris’ department is allowing a rushed reopening of schools as Delta numbers soar. The teachers work on variable hour contracts without sick pay and the majority of students are between 20 and 35 years of age. Most teachers have had no access to the vaccine, according to the union.
Many trade unions and NGOs are preparing for Budget 2022 and the childcare sector is no different. While the pandemic has shown just how crucial Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) is for parents, children and the economy, the sector is in crisis. Low levels of government investment and a broken funding system have resulted in poverty pay for professionals, high fees for parents, and high staff turnover as services struggle to recruit and retain workers. This approach is undermining quality for children. SIPTU, ICTU and a number of other organisations have set up a petition for a New Deal for Early Years in Budget 2022. They’re looking to deliver quality care and education for children, workers, parents and providers.
Finally, the Irish Wildlife Trust is calling supporters to take part in the public consultation on the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which closes on 30 July.