Jobs no reason to reopen schools, says union

 

A CASHED-UP Queensland Teachers' Union has ruled out letting kids back to school so their parents can work.

In a defiant letter to teachers, QTU general secretary Graham Moloney insists schools will stay shut to 85 per cent of children for the next three weeks.

The stance comes as it can be revealed that one in 25,000 Queensland children have contracted coronavirus.

Just 48 of Queensland's 1.2 million children have caught coronavirus, making up less than 5 per cent of infections.

Queensland Health data shows that 13 children younger than 10, and 35 school students and teenagers aged 10 to 19 have caught the virus.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is on a panel of health experts that has declared it is safe for children to return to school. Picture: Darren England/AAP
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is on a panel of health experts that has declared it is safe for children to return to school. Picture: Darren England/AAP

Mr Moloney says in the letter to teachers that the homeschooling model is "second to none'', and declares state schools will not let students back to class for "economic reasons alone''.

Mr Moloney told teachers they should be celebrated for their work in providing students with "learning at home'' activities.

He said students had a "successful start'' to Term 2, despite "some challenges with technology'', including an Education Queensland systems crash on the first day back at school.

"We will also not accept a call to transition all students back to school for economic reasons alone - schools must also be deemed safe for the adults that work in them," Mr Moloney said.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee - a panel of experts including Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young - has said it is safe for healthy children to return to school without the need for social distancing, provided teachers and other adults stay 1.5m apart.

Opposition education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie yesterday demanded Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stop listening to her "union masters'' and let all students go back to school.

"Queensland parents should be able to take their kids to school if they want to, but instead they have a Labor government clearly at the mercy of the union," he said.

The powerful QTU collected $22 million in membership fees last year - up 5.7 per cent

Originally published as School's out: Union defies medicos on classroom return



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