The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Alberni District Teachers Union rejects idea of vaccine mandate

‘Most’ of district’s teachers are already vaccinated, says union president

The union representing teachers in Port Alberni does not want a vaccine mandate.

Alberni District Teacher’s Union president Cindy Hewitt told the School District 70 board of education on Nov. 9 that although the ADTU originally planned to petition the board for a vaccine mandate, members changed their minds after listening to other school districts grappling with similar mandates.

“As we have listened to other, much larger school districts say it is an impractical mandate, I’m going to withdraw the ADTU’s desire to have a mandate of fully vaccinated schools,” said Hewitt.

Hewitt said the “majority” of ADTU members, more than 92 percent, are fully vaccinated and believe in wearing masks.

“However, we are a union of respect and we want to honour those people whose beliefs don’t require them to have masking or vaccinations,” she said.

Back in October, the province’s Ministry of Education told school boards across the province to make their own decisions on vaccine mandates.

Multiple school boards in B.C.—including Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission—have stated they will not impose vaccine mandates on their employees. At this time, no school district in B.C. has a vaccine mandate.

SD70 board chair Pam Craig said on Nov. 9 that district staff are still doing research before making an official decision about vaccine mandates.

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Port AlberniSchool District 70