Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation calls for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for students and staff ahead of 2021-22 school year

The Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation is calling on the province to make vaccines mandatory for all education workers and all kids heading back to class.

President Patrick Maze says their call includes school children over the age of 12, adding it doesn’t make sense to mandate vaccines for teachers and support staff but not the children.

“We need everybody to take responsibility, and the employer — the government, as the employer — has a responsibility to provide a safe working space for its employees,” Maze said. “We as a Teacher’s Federation want to make sure that our students also have a safe learning environment.”

This comes after the Saskatchewan School Boards Association told 620 CKRM Monday that they will be looking to the Saskatchewan Health Authority to make a final decision on mandated vaccines.

Maze says it seems like no one wants to make a final decision.

“We know that the provincial government came out earlier and said that all of these decisions would be made by school divisions,” Maze said. “Now that school divisions have the opportunity to make that decision, and they’re passing it off to Sask. Health.

“We’re kind of wondering where will the buck stop, and for us as the Teacher’s Federation, we’re saying somebody needs to make the call.”

Maze says vaccine uptake is high within the education sector.

“Teachers all have an education degree, they rely on research-based decision making for the most part, and we would expect them to make the right decision knowing that the research indicates that you are a lot safer if you’ve been vaccinated,” Maze said. “We look at the ICU’s and the hospitals in Saskatchewan, over 90 percent of the people in there are unvaccinated.”

This comes after the University’s of Regina and Saskatchewan have both made vaccines mandatory for staff, faculty and students ahead of the 2021-22 school year.

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