PAT members overwhelmingly support a vaccine mandate for educators and PPS staff, and see it as one crucial step towards creating safe and stable schools in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Last Tuesday, PPS announced that all PPS employees are required to be vaccinated or submit to regular testing. The next day, Governor Brown announced a state-wide mandate that all school employees and healthcare workers be vaccinated by October 15. The rules from the state, when they are announced, will determine how this mandate will be implemented.
We recognize that this mandate may create questions for some PAT members, as well as members of our sister unions in PPS, which include PFSP, DCU, ATU, and SEIU 503. We are working together with all our PPS union siblings to coordinate negotiations with PPS over the impact of the vaccine mandate, and make sure agreements are in place to support workers getting vaccinated, as well as those who qualify for medical or religious exemptions.
We do not yet have any information from PPS about how to show proof of vaccination, or how to claim a medical or religious exemption, but will share with you that information as soon as we have it.
Finally, this week the FDA announced full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people ages 16 and up. This is an important step towards the possibility of adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccines required for students. We are pushing state leaders to clarify the process for doing so as soon as possible.