TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Antonia De Freitas on Thursday said TTUTA has yet to receive a report from the Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA). The report said the Edinburgh Government Primary School is fit for occupation by teachers and students.
De Freitas confirmed that last November teachers at the school listed pigeon droppings, skin, eye and respiratory irritations, and concerns about air quality as the three complaints for their refusing to work.
In a statement, the Education Ministry said it received the report in which the teachers’ action, in November last year, was described as unjustified.
De Freitas said teachers have been reporting for work at the school since Monday.
She confirmed that OSHA officials did go to the school and do an assessment.
Apart from the health concerns teachers raised, De Freitas said the school also has some infrastructural challenges. Once it receives and analyses the OSHA report, De Freitas said TTUTA would be in a better position to say whether or not it agrees with its findings.
In a statement, on the issue of pigeon droppings, the ministry said officers from the Public Health Inspectorate visited the school on November 12, 2019 and inspected it.
The ministry said the officers saw the pigeon droppings had been removed. They said the nylon wire-mesh installed throughout the internal and external perimeter of the school, prevented the pigeons from getting in.
A report was later issued saying the school was fit for occupation.
The agency concluded that in keeping with Section 15 of the OSHA Act, there was no serious and imminent danger to the teachers’ health and therefore their complaints were unjustified.
The ministry said copies of the report were submitted to the Caroni Education District office and will be sent to the principal and TTUTA representatives.
Based on the findings, the ministry asked all teachers to report for duty on Thursday.
A district leadership team of the PTA, TTUTA, officers from the Student Support Services Division and school supervisors will be sent to the school to ensure classes resume.
Ministry officials said 27 of the 29 teachers went to work, but student attendance was poor. They were unable to provide any figures but hoped attendance would improve once all stakeholders receive the report.