Controversy over unvaccinated teachers still on leave with full pay
Hundreds of unvaccinated teachers remain on full time salaries as they ride out their “gardening leave”, with news on whether they will be allowed back in the classroom yet to be confirmed.
Currently, there are a large number of educators on forced leave, causing widespread anger and frustration all across the teaching community as the strain on understaffed public schools reaches an all-time high.
Whether teachers who failed to comply with vaccination mandates should be permitted back into schools at all has remained a matter of contention, with the vaccine mandate end date having passed in May 2022.
The Education Department has retained the rule that requires all teachers to have at least two vaccines, but this could change next month following the completion of a “risk assessment”.
The outcome of the risk assessment was not set to take effect until the beginning of Term 3 in mid-July, an anonymous teacher has shared.
In the meantime, more than 330 teachers who chose not to comply with the vaccine mandate are being paid their full salary to complete “alternative duties” from home.
Pay backdated to May the 13th has been funnelled into the stood-down teachers’ pockets, despite them not being “expected to undertake work during this time” – a directive included in an email.
An anonymous teacher said he had been told to stay at home and take care of himself until the risk assessment, undertaken by the Education Department, was finalised.
Just over 330 teachers had been subject to a Professional and Ethical Standards (PES) investigation for not complying with Covid-19 directives.
The investigation had been halted however, while the Department carried out its assessment.