|For Immediate Release
January 27, 2020
Teachers Union Leaders Demand that Baker Retract Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine
BOSTON – The presidents of the AFT Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the Boston Teachers Union today issued this joint statement calling on Governor Charlie Baker to retract an official comment issued by his administration on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021.
“We have had sharp differences with Governor Baker over school safety throughout the pandemic. We voiced those differences again yesterday when the Governor announced changes to the state’s vaccine delivery plan, changes that we sincerely believe risk the health and safety of teachers and students by delaying vaccine access for thousands of educators.
“The Baker administration issued an appalling response taken straight from the Donald Trump playbook which included, ‘the administration was dismayed to learn that the same union leaders also oppose going back to the classroom until vaccines for children are developed.’
“This is patently false. We have never made such a statement individually or collectively. We are astonished that the Governor would fabricate an inflammatory assertion on something as important as the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our position has always been that educators should be among the first frontline workers to receive vaccines because they often work with children in confined spaces. More than half of Massachusetts educators are working at school. More than 3500 of them have contracted COVID-19. Nearly 6000 students have been infected with the virus.
“We demand that Governor Baker publicly retract the statement immediately.”