by Michael Kane
On February 5, 2021, President of the American Federation of Teachers union (AFT) Randi Weingarten stated that vaccinations are not “preconditions” for returning to in-person learning. Interestingly February 5th was the very day I announced I would be calling upon Weingarten to publicly rescind her statement from September of 2020 supporting forced vaccination of educators. You can read the post where I announced that call here (scroll down to the section titled What about Randi?).
This intriguing coincidence has just recently been brought to my attention, so please forgive the late reporting. Recently I have exchanged emails with Randi Weingarten where she ultimately agreed to meet with a delegation from TEACHERS FOR CHOICE in August to discuss our concerns regarding school reopening in the fall. We will keep our followers posted on the developments surrounding that meeting.
Additionally in the recent email exchange we had Weingarten informed me that AFT has passed a resolution on vaccination where they very strongly encourage educators to get both the flu and COVID vaccines. That resolution was passed on October 7, 2020 and it reads as if it is headed in the direction of calling for a vaccine mandate, but stops just short of doing so. In one of her emails to me Weingarten stated a new resolution would be needed for AFT to recommend mandatory vaccination of educators. However there is no indication any teachers’ union in America is poised to do this, especially in New York. The National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers’ union in the nation, overwhelmingly voted down a recent resolution calling for forced vaccination of teachers and students as a precondition for reopening schools this fall.
It is good to see Weingarten has stepped away from her September 2020 statement where she clearly and bluntly stated the AFT supported forced vaccination of all in-person teachers. At that time she had even cited NYC’s mandatory in-school COVID testing as a precedent that would allow for forced vaccination of educators. TEACHERS FOR CHOICE is currently suing the NYC DOE over this mandatory testing regime in the case BUENO vs NYC DOE.
Also back in February of 2021 Weingarten was interviewed by Crystal Lewis of THE CHIEF where she seemed to reverse her position on forced vaccination of teachers, but it was unclear. I think today it is clear that we have all 3 major union bosses in New York on the record as being against a vaccine mandate for educators. This includes Randi Weingarten, Andy Pallotta, and Michael Mulgrew.
Here is Andy Pallotta stating NYSUT does not support forced vaccination of educators – CLICK HERE
Here is UFT President Michael Mulgrew stating the same – CLICK HERE