Vaccinations and School Staff – FAQs

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Is our union calling for education employees to receive the vaccine earlier than the general population?

Our union’s position is that schools should be appropriately classified so that early priority for the rollout is provided.

This is the position our union has been advocating at a federal level to government.

We understand that at this stage, schools, kindergartens and other education services are being considered for the ‘second tranche’ of vaccine access in the latter part of 2021.

Given the complex scenarios of schools, kindergartens and other education services, and the extent of their reach into the community, it would be reasonable for school workplaces to be classified as frontline priorities.

As such, the potential closure of a school, kindergarten and other education service due to lockdown or infection has greater potential consequences than almost any other organisation.

Can my employer force me to have the vaccine?

In terms of employer policies, we expect that most employers will adopt a position whereby they encourage staff to be vaccinated.

For our part, our union will advise members consistent with the current expert advice of the federal, state and territory medical authorities, whilst taking into account any relevant individual medical considerations of members.

That is, should the Western Australian Chief Health Officer, for example, ‘strongly encourage’ vaccinations, our union would do likewise.

Should your employer be looking to introducing a mandatory vaccination policy in your school, kindergarten or workplace, they must consult with you and our union before taking any action.

Can my employer ask me for proof that I am vaccinated?

It will depend on the policies that apply in your workplace.

Speak with your employer if you do not want to let them know if you are vaccinated and why.

If you believe you have been treated unfairly or discriminated against because of your vaccination status, you should contact our union directly for advice and assistance.

I can’t have the vaccine for medical reasons, will our union support me at work?

While our union will advise members consistent with the current expert advice of the federal, state and territory medical authorities, we will provide workplace advocacy, advice and support to any member in regard to their relevant individual medical considerations in relation to the vaccine.

Our union is always here for you. For additional advice and support regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and your workplace, please contact our union on 08 9373 1000 or email your question directly to enquiries@ieuwa.org.au