NIPSA the largest of support staff trade unions, representing over 7,000 workers, reacts to the news that face coverings are to be worn in corridors and communal areas of schools.

Alan Law, Assistant Secretary stated:

“The Department of Education issued new guidance this evening to Principals on the wearing of face coverings in schools. It advises that they should be worn by pupils and teachers in communal areas and corridors of schools; completely erasing from the workforce all support staff.

This latest gaffe from the beleaguered Education Minister could have been avoided had the Department consulted with the Trade Unions before sneaking out the new guidance. It’s a disgraceful insult to our members who work so diligently to ensure for example that schools are kept clean, class teaching is supported, meals are provided, lunch breaks are supervised and in so many other vital roles in every school across Northern Ireland. The Minister may have forgotten that a huge section of his workforce exists, our members won’t forget this insult. Consultation matters, if for no other reason to ensure the Education Minister doesn’t look foolish.”