GSG 08-22 Wearing of Face Masks



Since the mask mandate was lifted on 28th February, we have seen the number of COVID cases increase dramatically with around 82,000 cases reported in the last two weeks alone.

This increase in case numbers has placed enormous pressure on our healthcare services and the men and women working so hard to protect and care for us. These staff are already overworked as they have been at the frontline of this battle with COVID for over two years and they have asked for our support.

The INMO has issued a request to all ICTU unions to support their call for face masks to again be worn indoors and in crowded settings. I am asking our members to support this request both in the interest of reducing the strain and pressure on our health services but also to protect ourselves in the workplace in the face of what is clearly a highly transmissible strain of the virus.

Given the levels of hospital overcrowding and the pressure this is placing on healthcare workers the CWU is supporting this request from the nurse’s union (INMO) – see attached:

‘The INMO is calling for affiliates of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to show solidarity with our nurses and midwives, and other healthcare workers and encourage their members to once again wear masks in indoor and crowded settings’.

While wearing face masks is still optional under government guidelines some employers have mandated that staff revert to wearing them. For example, in An Post, staff have been asked to wear face masks in work with the exception of serving counter staff and office staff seated at a desk (where it is encouraged but optional).

We need to carry out our work safely and our healthcare colleagues should be able to do the same, therefore the CWU is strongly encouraging members to wear face masks in indoor and crowded settings until the case numbers have reduced.

Please bring this circular to the attention of your members.

Attachment to GSG 08-22

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