‘Our members are angry’ – teachers frustrated over hand sanitiser recalls

ireland
General secretary of the Teachers Union of Ireland Michael Gillespie said his members are angry that checks were not previously carried out. Photo: File photograph.
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By Vivienne Clarke

Teachers have expressed frustration after it emerged last night that over 50 hand sanitisers products previously approved for use in schools are being recalled.

The 52 hand sanitiser, soap, spray and wipe products are being removed from circulation due to a "technical licencing issue” after previously being listed among 172 products approved for use in schools.

General secretary of the Teachers Union of Ireland Michael Gillespie said his members are angry that checks were not previously carried out on sanitising products to be used in schools.

The withdrawal of 52 products on Thursday was the third incident where the education system had been overwhelmed, he told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland.

This will mean school principals, teachers and staff will have to go into schools over the weekend to remove the withdrawn items and see how badly they are affected, he said.

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This will be a big job because there was such a mix of products, Mr Gillespie added.

There are going to be challenges, schools have to reopen today to deal with all this. Our members are angry.

His members want to keep schools open, but they cannot do so if the supports are not there, he said.

“They have to be resourced - there are going to be challenges, schools have to reopen today to deal with all this. Our members are angry.”

Ireland
No evidence recalled hand sanitisers are unsafe, E...
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Mr Gillespie welcomed that schools had been given approval to purchase the necessary products locally and said he believed they would reopen as planned following the mid-term break.

“I do believe they will open on Monday, that's what they want to do - they want to open, safely, but they need to be fully supported, which they haven’t been over the years,” he said.

“We're starting from a position where we have the biggest classes in Europe - physical space and smaller classes are things that are needed, they are being delivered in other countries to prevent Covid coming into schools.”

The Minister for Education Norma Foley has said there is no evidence that over 50 hand sanitisers products being withdrawn from schools are unsafe.

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