Minister – no contention over Edinburgh Government Primary

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    Education Minister Anthony Garcia has dismissed newspaper reports of contention between the Ministry and the teachers of the Edinburgh Government Primary School as to whether or not the school is fit for reopening.

    Teachers at the school previously reported health issues, including pigeon droppings, poor air quality, and eye, skin and respiratory ailments.

    Mr Garcia however continues to back a report by the Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) that the school is fit for occupation and the teachers Refusal to Work was unjustified.

    He says teachers have received a copy of the OSHA report which facilitated the reopening of school – according to the Ministry, 27 out of 29 teachers reported for duty on Friday 10th January 2020, with the school operating at full capacity.

    Mr Garcia, in a media release, also delved into the matter of the OSHA inspections of the school late last year to investigate the claims.

    He says on Tuesday 12th November, 2019, inspectors observed that the pigeon droppings had been eradicated and that the nylon, wire mesh pigeon proofing installed throughout the school compound had prevented the pigeons from roosting.

    On the skin, eye and respiratory ailments, he says OSHA ruled that the teachers’ complaints were unjustified under Section 15 of the OSH Act.

    On the matter of air quality, Mr Garcia says OSHA personnel saw evidence that the school buildings were sanitised and sterilised by Century 21 Janitorial Services and Rentokil Initial Limited, on October 22nd, 2019 and in November 2019 respectively.

    OSHA officials also reportedly 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.

    Mr Garcia says other extensive works were completed in the school such as the removal and installing of new sections of ceiling, repairs and sealing of leaks on galvanise roof and the replacement of discoloured bathroom tiles in the students’ washrooms.