Mandatory Vaccinations For Queensland Teachers Set To Disrupt

“High risk settings”


Article heading image for Mandatory Vaccinations For Queensland Teachers Set To Disrupt

Martin Hunter

Vaccination mandate for Queensland’s “high-risk” workers will be a condition of employment by early next year.

On November 30, Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the new edict for those working in “high-risk settings”, to be fully vaccinated by January 23.

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“If you can’t be vaccinated, we want to make sure those around you are vaccinated,” she said.

“We want to do everything we can to protect these young people. These strong measures are in place to keep vulnerable Queenslanders protected."

The directive will apply to those who work in schools, childcare, prisons, youth detention centres and airports.

Backing the vaccination sanction, the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) said despite some expected disruptions, their priority is ensuring a safe working environment for its members.

In a letter addressed to members, QTU confirmed “the department is likely to suspend teachers, pending a show case process” for those who have do not meet the state governments directive.

“We have advised the department that this could result in significant disruption to the commencement of the 2022 school year given students are due to return to schools the following day,” it said.

“The union is also advised that the public health directive is unlikely to be found to be a breach of a member’s human rights or against a person’s right to consent to medical treatment. Members are still able to refuse to be vaccinated, in making this choice the chief health officer has placed a prohibition on you continuing to work in an education setting."

QTU have also advised that no legal assistance will be provided to challenge the mandate.

President Cresta Richardson said there's more than enough time for staff to roll up their sleeves.

"It’s the second last week of school for some of our schools, and we do have some schools out in the west who finish on Friday," she confirmed.

"So, it’s really important that our members get the information, so that they know what's happening. So, First dose by the 17th of December and third dose by the 23 January".

- Cresta Richardson

QTU's Jodie McFadden, said that it was not the unions position to oppose the mandate, instead it was their duty to "encourage all members who are able to receive the Covid vaccine to do so."

“Let’s not forget, teachers and school leaders have worked on the front line of the pandemic, keeping schools open and operational during the at-risk situations of lockdown.”

“By mandating all school and TAFE staff to be vaccinated, the chief health officer has issued a directive drawn from the science,” she said.

“As we have done through the pandemic, the QTU will act appropriately in accordance with this direction.”

- Jodie McFadden

It's estimated that as many as 6,000 teachers across the state could be impacted by the mandate.

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Hit News Team

1 December 2021

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