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Teachers unions demand mandatory vaccination in schools

Another group of professionals has come out in favour of mandatory vaccination for teachers and other school staff.

Four teachers’ unions, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, stated the province’s back to school plan falls short of what is needed to keep students and school staff safe.

“To provide the greatest level of protection to Ontario’s students and communities, we believe that everyone working, or attending a school who is eligible and can be safely vaccinated, should be vaccinated,” said the statement issued Wednesday.

The unions also say the provincial plan provides too few details with the start of the school year starting in just weeks.

Related story: Health, education workers to be vaccinated or face frequent testing

They continued their call for better ventilation in schools, a robust testing and tracing program, smaller class sizes, mandatory masking, and an advisory group of education and health experts. It also called on the province to invest in a vaccination education program.

“Any mandatory vaccination program must include provisions to ensure that those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons receive all the required employment accommodations and are not disadvantaged in any way,” continued the statement.

The unions insist those who are not vaccinated must be required to take additional precautions, including the use of additional personal protective equipment, ensuring social distancing, and other safety protocols.
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