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BC teachers must disclose COVID vaccination status

teacher, vaccinated
Teachers in BC must disclose their vaccination status, as announced January 17, 2022.

Tuesday January 18, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated: 2:50 pm]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

BC teachers must disclose COVID-19 vaccination status under new public health orders.

BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) President Teri Mooring says the union was not consulted or notified ahead of time about the order that was released yesterday (January 17).

BCTF, president, teri mooring
BCTF Teri Mooring addressing media via Zoom on January 7, 2022.

During her Public Health Officer’s COVID update today at 1:30 pm Dr Bonnie Henry explained that if a local Medical Health Officer issues an order to learn about vaccination profiles at any given school, then that order is legal.

The order is intended to support school districts, Dr Henry said today. To “understand the vaccination status of school staff” is the purpose of the order. It will “assist medical health officers in knowing which schools are at risk,” she said.

Dr Henry added that the work to prepare this order “has been in the works and has been consulted on quite widely”.

Dr Bonnie Henry, January 18 2022
Public health order to allow medical health officers to require vaccine information from teachers at schools had been widely consulted on, said Dr Henry [Jan 18, 2022].

Essential workers:

Teachers are essential workers under the BC School Act.

Many teachers were not aware of that, it was learned by BCTF during the first wave of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

Vaccine mandate issue:

Until now, mandating of teachers to be COVID-vaccinated was left up to school districts that are the employers of the teachers. It was presented by the BC Ministry of Education as an employment issue.

The Delta school board proceeded with a vaccination mandate for teachers, and the SD62 Sooke school district mandated that all new employees hired into the district would need to be COVID-vaccinated. Two very large school districts (Surrey and Vancouver) did not mandate vaccination for their employees.

Minister of Education:

Jennifer whiteside
Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside [January 7, 2022]

BC Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside is the former chief spokesperson and lead negotiator for the Hospital Employees’ Union.

She has played a very low profile during the pandemic, often saying nothing on key issues for long periods of time.

Other asks:

The BC Teachers Union has requested the provision of N95 masks for all teachers, but recently received a donation of 100,000 masks from a manufacturer which took the heat off the BC government in this matter, for a while.

BCTF has been asking for vaccination priority for teachers. Over 95% of teachers in BC are currently vaccinated, it was revealed in recent weeks.

===== RELATED:

Private company donates 100,000 N95 masks to BC teachers (January 15, 2022)

SD62 student absence rate higher on first day back (January 10, 2022)

Schools continue to make 3-layer masks available for students & staff (January 5, 2022)

subscribers welcome 2022

SD62 interrupts winter break with ‘new hires’ vaccine mandate message (December 21, 2021)

SD62 dealing with COVID in schools as kids 5-11 remain unvaccinated (September 28, 2021)

BCTF Fall 2021: wants better protections & return-to-school caution (September 6, 2021)