Subject to change should agreement be found between the DES and ASTI. UPDATES WILL BE SHARED ON THIS SITE, BY TEXT & THROUGH TWITTER @GCC_NewRoss
The following strike days have been indicated by the ASTI.
November 8th, 16th, 24th and 29th
December 6th and 7th
If the strike days go ahead as planned the Board of Management will not be in a position to discharge its responsibilities with regard to the care of students in its charge.
The Board of Management is therefore requesting you not to send your son to school on these days.
The Board of Management regret that this course of action is necessary. The Board of Management has no wish to interrupt the education of students in Good Counsel College.
POSITION FROM 9AM ON NOVEMBER 7th
The Board of Management has decided that, because of the withdrawal of members of the ASTI from Supervision and Substitution duties, the school will not be in a position to re-open after the mid-term break. The Board regrets having to take this decision and would hope that a resolution is arrived at between the ASTI and the DES that would allow this situation to be resolved.
The Board of Management will continue to review the situation with a view to safely reopening our school to students at the earliest possibility.
Text of letter distributed to parents on Friday October 28th.
As you are aware, the ASTI has directed its members to withdraw from supervision and substitution duties with effect from 7th November 2016.
The effect of the directive is that ASTI members will not be available to carry out essential supervision duties during break times and at lunchtime. In addition, ASTI members will not be available to substitute for colleagues absent on school business such as extra-curricular or co-curricular activities and for colleagues absent on uncertified sick leave.
Due to this action, the Board of Management will not be in a position to ensure the safety of the pupils in its care from that date. Health and Safety legislation, the in loco parentis principle and insurance requirements place a duty of care on school management to ensure the safety, health and welfare of pupils.
It is the position of the JMB, the management body for our school, and the board of Management of this school that teachers are best placed to undertake these duties. The JMB has engaged with the Department of Education and Skills to put in place an alternative supervision and substitution arrangement as a contingency for the period of the industrial action. While the ASTI has indicated to the DES that it would not impede any contingency arrangement for supervision and substitution that would be put in place, it has not, however, given an undertaking that its members would fully co-operate with contingency arrangements. The ASTI has directed its members not to involve themselves in the rostering or management of supervisors employed for the purpose of a contingency arrangement, meaning that contingency arrangements cannot currently be implemented as the vast majority of staff are ASTI members.
Even if there were to be full co-operation by the ASTI with a contingency plan, the deadline of November 7th is unrealistic as it does not allow sufficient time to put supervisors in place. In the interests of the health, safety and welfare of the students in our school sufficient competent personnel would have to be recruited using a formal interview process. In the interests of child protection, the selected people would be vetted in compliance with the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016, and would need to participate in training and induction to prepare them for their roles. The likely timeframe for this process is not less than six weeks.
While the Board of Management wishes to keep the school open it is not, regrettably, possible to re-open the school after mid-term break until appropriate health and safety and child protection provisions can be established.
The Board of Management is assured by the JMB that it will continue to advocate for schools with the DES and the ASTI in pursuit of an early resolution of this industrial action. The Board will keep the situation under review and you will be notified as soon as feasible of relevant developments.
Updates will be found on our website www.goodcounselcollege.ie via text messaging or through our twitter feed @GCC_NewRoss throughout the mid term break.
Principal, Secretary BOM.