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Sunday 26 May 2019
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Pigeon infestation leads to walkout at primary school

Teachers of the Raghunanan Road Government Primary School in Enterprise, walked off the compound earlier today after complaining about the health hazard posed by pigeon droppings which litter the school.

The teachers cited the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act section 15 as the basis for their walkout.

Section 15 (a) and (c) states that an employee “may refuse to work or do particular work where he has sufficient reason to believe that— (a) there is serious and imminent danger to himself or unusual circumstances have arisen which are hazardous or injurious to his health or life; (c) the physical condition of the workplace or the part thereof in which he works or is to work is likely to endanger himself.”

In a telephone interview, TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai said the problem has existed at the school for some time and teachers had exercised a considerable amount of patience and had remained at the school in the hope the Ministry of Education would intervene in the situation.

“There are pigeon droppings on the walls and floor and posing a health risk to the teachers and the students. Seven teachers have fallen ill and have had to seek medical attention and it has been ongoing for a while now and teachers have been very patient hoping that something would be done, and nothing has been done to date.”

“Under section 15 of the OSH Act, they will not be returning to the school unless they are so ordered to do but the OSH Agency will have to send in an inspector to look at the situation and the inspector will decide whether their action is warranted or not.”

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