“The agreement takes important steps to promote public health and to mitigate classroom staffing disruptions.”
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Teachers Union have come to an agreement on COVID-19 policies, specifically the rules for unvaccinated staff.
Under the new memorandum of understanding, which still needs School Committee approval, staff who are unvaccinated can submit two negative COVID tests per week when virus transmission is considered low and remain in classrooms. During higher-transmission times, unvaccinated staff will not be allowed to enter school buildings, and may take accrued time off instead of using unpaid leave, according to a press release.
Members of the union voted in favor of the measure, with 84 percent support, the city release said. During a press conference Thursday morning, when asked about it, Wu noted that about 95 percent of union members are vaccinated, so the maneuver only pertains to about 5 percent of members.
“I’m grateful for the vast majority of our teachers who have already gotten vaccinated,” Wu said in the release. “This overwhelming ratification vote of a policy that has already boosted vaccination rates across our workforce and will ensure that all new hires must be vaccinated will help us prioritize a safe and healthy environment for students and staff.”
The agreement also mandates that all new hires are vaccinated against COVID.
“We are glad to have reached an agreement with the district that will uplift the health and safety of our educators, students, and communities, while still being able to retain our educators who have chosen to remain unvaccinated,” the union said in the release. “The agreement takes important steps to promote public health and to mitigate classroom staffing disruptions.”
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