Mass. Teachers Assn. backs vaccine mandate
‘Reasonable measure to take for the common good’
THE MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION is embracing mandatory vaccinations for all employees and eligible students in public schools and colleges across the state, subject to collective bargaining agreements concerning those not yet eligible for the shots or those for whom vaccination is not medically advisable.
“Requiring vaccines for educators and eligible students is a reasonable measure to take for the common good,” said MTA President Merrie Najimy in a statement.
The state’s largest teacher’s union announced the new policy on Tuesday after its board voted 46-4 in favor of a mandate Monday night. The move comes on the heels of a similar announcement last week by the Boston Teachers Union, which acted after Randi Weingarten, the head of its national parent, the American Federation of Teachers, signaled an acceptance of mandates.
The growing acceptance of vaccine mandates comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 has become the dominant strain and infections are spreading. Many employers and hospitals are now endorsing mandates, even though the vaccines have not yet received full approval. They are currently authorized for emergency use only.
“Official leadership has been absent as we prepare for the new school year,” Najimy said. “Educators and our unions are doing everything in our power to ensure that public schools and colleges can open safely and stay open. We continue to be alarmed by the failure of state political leaders to follow our example — and their refusal to engage with other stakeholders during this critical time.”