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by Mehak Dugal

Fórsa put out this statement yesterday welcoming the Government’s announcement that asymptomatic students in special education settings won’t be part of the broader relaxation of contact tracing for primary school students from next Monday. Instead they will continue to be subject to contact tracing protocols.

Meanwhile, teacher’s unions have heavily criticised the decision to relax the rules for Covid-19 close contacts in primary schools.

The parents of children who attend a special school in Dublin have said they feel the State has abandoned their families after all on-site therapists were removed from the school, as part of a centralisation of disability services.

Unions representing healthcare workers, including Fórsa, have called for immediate talks with the HSE on recognition for healthcare worker’s efforts during COVID, following a Labour Court recommendation yesterday. More on that here.


Éamonn Donnelly also spoke to Newstalk breakfast this morning on the compensation issue and you can listen back here. He is also quoted in this Examiner piece on the matter. 


And Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking to Irish news outlets in New York stated that “a one-off bonus” to recognise the efforts put in by frontline workers during the pandemic will be announced “shortly”.


Fórsa’s cabin crew branch confirmed that Aer Lingus management has agreed to attend the Work-place Relations Commission (WRC) for a conciliation hearing over an ongoing dispute. The dispute centres around a letter sent to staff last week outlining significant changes to pay and conditions due to pandemic-related losses. 

A new ESRI report finds just 36% of working-age disabled people in Ireland are in employment, one of Europe’s lowest rates. A lack of supports for disabled young people to progress from second to third level, and from education into employment, being the main contributors to the issue it finds. 

As the  Labour Court marks 75 years, Fórsa took the opportunity to salute former Labour Court Chair Evelyn Owens (1931-2010), an official with one of Fórsa's forerunner unions, and accomplished member of the Seanad.

The findings of a poll have indicated that most Irish people want the State to take in more Afghanistan refugees than the 230 the Government has committed to. A majority of Irish people are also in favour of family reunification for Afghan people.


Finishing up with some lighter news, continuing on from yesterday’s turtle theme, a loggerhead turtle is now bound for the warmer Spanish climes, after washing up on a Donegal beach in January 2019 when he was just nine months old. A high-flying repatriation effort for ‘Julius Caesar’ the young endangered reptile who was discovered off the north west coast two years ago.


Have a good one. 



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