Largest Teachers’ Union Supports Requiring Coronavirus Vaccine, Testing

Pre-kindergarten students listen as their teacher reads a story at Dawes Elementary in Chicago, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Chicago Public Schools students began their return to the classroom Monday as school doors opened to thousands of pre-kindergarten and some special education students after going remote last March due to the …
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool

National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the United States, announced on Thursday, the union will support Chinese coronavirus vaccine and testing mandates to “ensure that students and educators are able to enjoy safe, uninterrupted, in-person education.”

Becky Pringle, the union’s president, in a statement, said that the union supports “requirements that all educators receive a [Chinese coronavirus] vaccination or submit to regular [Chinese coronavirus] testing.”

She added that there is “No one wants to be back in the classroom with their students more than educators, and student safety is our number one priority.”

The union claims schools need to “follow the science, and evidence shows that [Chinese coronavirus] vaccines, combined with other safety measures, are the most powerful weapon we have against the pandemic.”

NEA President Becky Pringle on 2/15/2021 "ReidOut"

NEA Union President Becky Pringle (Screenshot/MSNBC)

Additionally, the union noted that 90 percent of NEA’s three million teachers, faculty, education professionals, and school administrators have already been fully vaccinated.

However, with such a high ratio of vaccinated, the union still feels the need to mandate the Chinese coronavirus vaccine or get regularly tested to those “whom vaccination is not medically appropriate or effective.”

The school system will also let any “appropriate employee” be provided paid leave to get the vaccine:

As we enter a new school year amidst a rapidly spreading Delta variant and lagging public vaccination rates, it is clear that the vaccination of those eligible is one of the most effective ways to keep schools safe, and they must be coupled with other proven mitigation strategies. Appropriate employee accommodations must be provided, and paid leave and readily available sites should be available for vaccinations. Employee input, including collective bargaining where applicable, is critical.

“We believe that such vaccine requirements and accommodations are an appropriate, responsible, and necessary step to ensure the safety of our school communities and to protect our students,” Pringle wrote.

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