Fórsa has welcomed government plans to increase on-site learning across the further and higher education sector from the start of the next academic year.
The strategy document, devised on the basis of public health advice from Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Tony Holohan, received a commitment from Government to ensure the process takes place in full accordance with public health guidelines.
The plan, ‘A safe return to further and higher education and research’ sets out an agreed overarching framework for returning and remaining on campus, and was developed by a working group comprising of representatives of all key stakeholders in the sector, including trade unions.
Fórsa official Stella Griffin, who sits on the higher education working group praised the work done to date.
“This is a good solid plan. There has been excellent consultation and agreement with trade unions throughout this process, and our own higher education branch have had had sight and input into the document,” she said.
“The Department of Health and The Department of Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science have also confirmed that the CMO will continue to work on public health advice with the sector throughout the summer in relation to the planned reopening. They have also stated that contingency planning is still required,” she explained.
Crucially the action plan provides for ongoing consultation with all stakeholders, as the process evolves.
“Consultation, agreement and communication throughout this process is key. Nothing will be implemented without consultation and agreement,” said Stella.
“We will be ensuring as stated previously that all actions points and plans are rooted in public health advice and that proper consultation and agreement at all stages is undertaken. As soon as we receive further communication around action points we will pass them on immediately.”
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