Dundalk schoolteacher leading INTO’s push for better pregancy conditions
A local primary school teacher is leading the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’s push for pregnancy-related sick leave to be discounted from sick leave records.
At the INTO annual congress in Belfast yesterday, teachers called for special provision for teachers absent due to fertility treatment, threatened miscarriage, miscarriage and other pregnancy conditions.
The union has hit out at the Department of Education and Skills for its current stance that miscarriage is not considered a pregnancy related matter.
As well as ironing out that matter, the INTO is also seeking an extension of maternity leave entitlements for mothers whose babies have spent time in neo-natal units as a result of premature births.
Teachers also called to be allowed to accrue leave in lieu of annual leave missed while on maternity leave.
Muireann O’Keeffe from Dundalk said teaching is physically and emotionally draining on a day to day basis.
She said: “You can only be there if you are healthy and emotionally fit. When you experience a miscarriage your body and mind need time to recover.”