All teaching staff in NSW will be forced to get the Covid-19 jab or lose their jobs, according to the state government’s roadmap to get schools reopened.
The plan will enforce mandatory vaccination for all teaching staff by Nov. 8, as schools begin a staggered return to personal education from Oct. 25.
A survey by the NSW Department of Education found that nearly 70 percent of staff had received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 40 percent receiving a double shot.
But one in 10 workers said they were not booked or scheduled to be vaccinated within the next month.
Vaccination will be mandatory for all NSW teaching staff from November 8 as schools begin a phased return to personal learning from October 25 (photo, stock photo)
One Nation leader Mark Latham criticized the roadmap via Twitter while falsely claiming Covid does not pose a high risk to children
In a webinar video seen by Daily Mail Australia, NSW Department of Education Secretary Georgina Harrison warned staff about the mandatory jab requirement.
“It will mean under the public health measure that they (teachers) cannot legally work for us, and we will have to look at measures such as unpaid leave until someone can get vaccinated, or possible dismissal because it becomes a requirement of work,” said Mrs. Harrison.
“This is a really important and serious step, it has not been taken lightly. Know that it has received the very best health advice on what will best protect our entire school community as we plan for return.”
The move has outraged One Nation leader Mark Latham Twitter in a rage on Saturday to criticize the vaccination mandate.
‘NSW Department of Education employs 100,000 people. Staff surveys show that 10 percent do not plan to be vaccinated,” he wrote.
“According to yesterday’s mandatory vaccination announcement, 10,000 must be made redundant by November. How can this be the policy if Covid is not a risky disease for children?’
Since the outbreak of the Delta variant, 88 schools in NSW have transmitted Covid-19.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos has supported the roadmap and says he has been lobbying for priority vaccination since last year.
“Since the start of the second wave, we have protested every day for the past two months to the federal government to prioritize teachers,” he told the Australian Financial Review.
According to a survey by the NSW Department of Education, 10% of teachers do not plan to get vaccinated (pictured, patient gets Covid-19 shot)
The teaching staff also supported the new start date of the HSC extension, which gives teachers an extra month of preparation time for the exam period.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said HSC exams for 12th grade students would be postponed until Nov. 9 – a day after mandatory vaccination is required for all staff on campuses.
Priority vaccinations are planned for school campus staff starting September 6.
The government plans a phased return to school from October 25, when kindergarten and first-year children return, second, sixth and eleventh year children from November 1, and the remaining year groups by November 8.
Year 12 students studying for their HSC exams will have full-time access to school campuses for study purposes from October 25.
If the stay-at-home orders are lifted in some local government areas before then, all students in those LGAs will be able to return to school.
The plan was gently welcomed by the public school teachers’ union.
Some education staff have supported the move after 88 NSW schools became Covid-19 transmission sites
Gladys Berejiklian said the government is working on plans to reopen certain industries in a “very phased and safe manner” by the 70 percent mark.
“Even if you start with 20 cases or 30 cases or zero cases, Delta will creep in and out and cases will increase as the degree of freedom increases,” she said Friday.
“It’s very important for all of us to come to terms with that.”
This is because NSW reported 1,035 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases and two deaths on Saturday.
Two women, aged between 70 and 80, died overnight in Sydney hospitals.
The younger woman, from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District in western Sydney, had received both doses of the vaccine but had underlying health problems, while the other had not been vaccinated.
She died at Westmead Hospital.
The worrying rise in cases in NSW came after 156,165 people signed up to be vaccinated Friday – the highest number of daily vaccinations ever.
778 patients with Covid are now being treated in hospital, of which 125 are in intensive care and 52 require ventilators.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard did give some good news – given the large number of people getting the shot, Covid restrictions on weddings in NSW will be eased on Friday, September 3 at 12:01 am.
The mandate is part of the NSW government’s roadmap to reopen the state when vaccination rates reach 70 percent (pictured, Sydneysiders practice during lockdown)