Vaccine mandates for teachers and school staff left up to school divisions: SSBA
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in schools, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) says it will leave vaccine requirements for teachers and staff to individual school divisions.
Shawn Davidson, SSBA president, said the association is supporting individual school divisions that have drafted vaccine policies.
“Our member school divisions are each autonomous to make decisions that are best for their division and for their local context,” said Davidson. “So what we have done is provided them with information that each of our boards around the province is considering around a mandatory vaccination policy.”
The SSBA has been providing draft administrative procedures to all school divisions, but the only option they have is to leave the decision entirely up to divisions.
”This is something that boards have been looking at for some time,” said Davidson. “Certainly with the direction we received from the province last week (that) strongly encourages employers like us to consider a vaccination policy.”
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) has been calling for mandatory vaccinations within the school board since August. Patrick Maze, STF president, said the school divisions have been left out to dry.
“Our belief that everyone in our buildings should be vaccinated everyone who is eligible and I mean it’s unfortunate that both the government and the SSBA now are hanging school divisions out to dry to make their decisions on their own.” Said Maze
Based on member feedback, the STF said the vaccine rate among teachers is believed to be very high
CTV News reached out to several school divisions to find out what policies are being put into place and only one responded. Saskatoon Public Schools says a decision has not yet been made on vaccination policies.
The Ministry of Education released a statement saying that it encourages school divisions to follow the province's direction. Saskatchewan announced last week it would require all government employees to be fully vaccinated or provide consistent proof of negative COVID-19 tests.