The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has called on the Federal Government to prioritise the vaccination of education staff.
The following statement was released to members:
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have encouraged our members and the broader community to adhere to restrictions and to follow public health advice. This has helped ensure the safety of teachers, support staff, and principals, as well as the safety of students and their families.
This continues to be the AEU’s position and, in line with public health advice, we are encouraging staff in all education settings to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are eligible.
We acknowledge that community members who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 must continue to be prioritised, as well as workers in priority groups.
However, there is an immediate need to broaden the eligibility of priority groups to include education staff.
Earlier this year, the AEU wrote to the federal and state health ministers seeking that all education workers in schools, kindergartens, TAFE and disability services be considered a priority group for the COVID-19 vaccination. Prioritising these essential workers for vaccination would be an effective way to reduce the disruptions that inevitably arise during periods of lockdown.
Unfortunately, there has been no decision to prioritise the vaccination of education workers.
Today, the AEU Victorian Branch is seeking a clear response from the Federal Government.
Unless education staff are able to have priority access to a vaccine, we continue to be at risk of more disruptions