Fears are growing that members of the education sector will be put at risk as schools begin to reopen, unions have warned.
The Northern Ireland Executive announced on Thursday that key groups of pupils will return to school from August 24 while all children should be back in class by September.
Revised New School Day guidance will be published next week setting out an updated approach to the full reopening of schools.
Trade union Unison - which represents more than 8,000 education workers - says the school reopening plan is "causing anxiety" among its members.
Another trade union - Unite - has threatened legal action if the Northern Ireland Executive does not give further assurances about the safety of bus drivers when schools return.
A Unison spokeswoman said on Friday night: "We have been engaged in continuous joint union discussions with the department and education bodies on a pilot plan for the safe return of children and workers alike. That plan has now been set aside for what appear to be political rather than public health reasons.
"Like everyone else we want to see our schools reopen but our members and our school children cannot be put at risk."
"The latest ministerial announcement is causing anxiety for parents, pupils and education staff."
Unite spokesman Michael Dornan told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme on Friday that he was "greatly concerned" about guidance in place to protect Translink school bus drivers.
The union has arranged an emergency meeting on Monday with Translink senior management to discuss their concerns.
He said: "About four weeks ago, when social distancing was reduced and more passengers were allowed on board the Transport Minister Nichola Mallon added additional protection by making face masks mandatory.
"We have yet to hear of any guidance from the education minister about additional protection [for bus drivers]."
He added: "It is very, very concerning for us and we would be forced to take some form of mandatory action in order to bring this to the attention of the education [Department] and Translink."
"We want to see what the added protection the education minister is coming up with. We want to see how the driver deals with children boarding buses. We want to know how we deal with older children - should they be wearing masks, should they not be wearing masks?"
Mr Dornan said Unite could seek to challenge the government legally or industrially.
"If the risk increases for drivers they could possibly refuse to do it," he added.
Responding on Friday night, Minister for Education Peter Weir said: "We are still operating in a pandemic and we all have a vital role to play in ensuring that hygiene and public health measures are adhered to by all to allow our children and young people a safe return to education.
"I am confident that our school leaders and staff will rise to the challenge and ensure all pupils can return safely to education full-time."
A Translink spokeswoman said: "We are working closely with the relevant agencies to make arrangements for school transport ahead of the new school term, ensuring adherence to Government guidelines.
"We will also follow guidance from the Department of Education, which is due to be published next week."