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Teachers Unions Denounce Vaccination As Bargaining Chip

Jan 21, 2021

OSU vaccinates health care workers at in a mass vaccination at the Schottenstein Center January 15th, 2021.

Ohio's eight largest teachers unions, including the Columbus Education Association, are denouncing the way Ohio Governor DeWine is rushing a return to in-person classes weeks before school staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  

Getting students back to school is one of the key goals of the state's vaccination program, and Dewine announced that teachers and other school-based staff would receive priority vaccines starting February - but only if superintendents signed a pledge that students would return by March 1.  

In a statement released today, the teachers unions from Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown say they are disappointed Dewine has used the vaccine as a bargaining chip - "pitting parents, administrators, teachers, other school workers and students against each other".  
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Given the slow rollout of vaccinations, the unions say few if any district's staff will be fully vaccinated by the March 1 deadline to return.  

Vaccines become available for school staff February 1 - the same day Columbus City Schools begins a phased-in return to classrooms part time.