BOE Union Coalition Leaders Comment On Mandatory Vaccinations For School Staff

The Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition*, which includes Council 4, is reacting to Governor Ned Lamont's Executive Order No.13D (EO-13D) concerning mandatory school employee COVID-19 vaccination.

Effective September 27, 2021, EO-13D will apply to educators and school support staff who have not received at least their first dose of the vaccine. The order allows exceptions for a religious or medical exemption, as well as an alternative optional weekly testing requirement.

Union leaders and our membership are committed to working with employers and the Lamont Administration to implement creative and effective solutions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout Connecticut. However, it is clear that the issues surrounding mandated vaccines and testing must be bargained at the negotiation table.

Throughout the pandemic, our educators and support staff rose to the challenge and provided their students a quality public education experience, whether remote, in-person or a hybrid of both. Along with our brothers and sisters in the private sector, they have continued to provide vital services to Connecticut residents, despite the obvious risks to themselves and their families. Their dedication to carrying out these services has been unwavering since the delta variant threatened a full-scale resurgence and is just the latest example of our members' continued commitment to mitigating the spread of the virus.

The BOE Union Coalition is a strong advocate of doing all we can to protect the safety of members and the public in these unprecedented times. We recognize that under state and federal law, employers have the right to create such mandates, subject to the duty to bargain its impact on employees. We will continue to fight for safety in the workplace and the rights of each and every individual employee.

*The Board of Education Union Coalition represents over 60,000 public school employees (teachers and non-certified education personnel) across the state and includes members in the following labor federations and their affiliated unions: AFSCME, AFT Connecticut, CEA, CSEA SEIU Local 2001, CEUI, MEUI, and UAW.