Vancouver elementary school teachers pushing for vaccine mandate

Nov 24 2021, 3:01 am

An association that represents elementary school teachers is asking the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to reconsider implementing a vaccine mandate for staff.

The Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association (VESTA) initially sent the VSB an email communication on October 12 pushing trustees to advocate for a vaccine mandate.

In a statement, VESTA said it was disappointed in the VSB decision to not implement a vaccine mandate for employees. “We are asking the trustees to reconsider their decision not to implement a vaccine mandate in Vancouver.”

On November 4, the VSB issued a statement after deciding internally to not implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine for staff.

“As a Board, we continue to be very committed to ensuring schools are safe and inclusive places to learn and work,” read the statement from VSB.

“We are pleased that approximately 90 per cent of eligible youth and adults in the Vancouver Coastal Health region are vaccinated, and we continue to strongly encourage anyone who has yet to be vaccinated to make an appointment and do their part to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

VESTA points out that the VSB decision came less than two weeks after the BC Public School Employers’ Association put out guidelines for consideration on implementing a vaccine mandate.

“It is also concerning that trustees chose to have all discussions on this matter in camera rather than at a public board or committee meeting where stakeholders and the public could provide input or at a minimum listen to the debate,” said VESTA President Joanne Sutherland in a statement.

“We are prepared to discuss and work with the district on any exemptions that may need to be made and hope that we can have an ongoing dialogue with trustees as well as all stakeholders as part of that reconsideration.”

Daily Hive has reached out to the VSB for comment.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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