Education Minnesota supports vaccination of educators ahead of 2021-22 school year
For more information, contact:
ST. PAUL, Minnesota. Aug. 11, 2021 – Education Minnesota and its local unions will continue encouraging all educators to get vaccinated because it’s the best way, along with masking, to keep Minnesota students safe and learning in-person for the upcoming school year.
With an estimated 90 percent of American educators already vaccinated, the statewide union of Minnesota educators said that it would continue working with local school districts to raise the percentage even higher before the start of the next school year.
“Vaccination is the best tool we have for protecting our students and the rest of our school communities,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “With very few exceptions, every educator who works directly with students this year should be vaccinated.”
While the state government currently lacks the authority to impose a statewide vaccine policy on employees of local school districts, districts and local unions are well positioned to ensure student and staff safety by negotiating agreements around vaccination.
Education Minnesota has prepared and distributed a sample agreement that would quickly create a fair policy at the district level. “This short, two-page agreement shows how simple this process can be,” Specht said. “Even with some local variations, it shouldn’t take long to reach a deal.”
Specht said the state union was recommending that its local unions continue to meet with employers to develop vaccination policies with the goal of persuading nearly all adults in schools to get vaccinated while accommodating the small number of educators who have valid medical or religious reasons for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Educators should have a voice in whatever vaccine policy local districts decide on,” Specht said. “When it comes to implementing any policy, the workers often think of things management doesn’t. Let’s get these deals done, and get them done right.”
About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.