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NSW unvaccinated teachers can return to work from Monday

More than 1000 unvaccinated teachers will be eligible to reapply for their jobs and return to classrooms from Monday.

The major change comes as NSW schools face significant staff shortages largely due to sick leave at the height of Covid and flu infections.

The mandate requiring all Department of Education employees, including teachers and other school staff, to be fully vaccinated will be lifted from term three, which begins next week.

The Public Health Order required all employees who worked for government schools to be vaccinated by November 2021.

Elementary students wearing face masks while using laptop with their teacher in the classroom.
Camera IconUnvaccinated teachers can return to work from Monday. Supplied Credit: istock

It means unvaccinated corporate staff will be able to return to offices and schools can re-engage casual staff who are not vaccinated.

Permanent staff members who were forced to resign or were dismissed by schools can now reapply for any advertised positions.

Staff who work with high needs students are still required to have at least three doses of the Covid vaccine.

While no official announcement has been made it is believed the mandate would be scrapped on Monday.

Department figures confirmed to The Sunday Telegraph 965 casual teachers are currently “inactive” while at least 311 other staff, including 209 permanent teachers, lost their jobs due to the public health order.

NSW Teachers Federation and IEUA (NSW/ACT) Joint S
Camera IconNSW Teacher March on Parliament House in Sydney in June. John Grainger Credit: News Corp Australia

Unvaccinated Victorian public school teachers were able to return to the classroom from June 24.

Department secretary Georgina Harrisson said the change would have little impact on the staffing crisis.

However, NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos told the Telegraph it is entirely of the government’s making.

“Ten years of failed policies have brought us to the point of not being able to attract and retain the teacher we need,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“Covid has just made the disaster of the teacher shortage worse.”

Teachers have been on strike three times since December 2021 demanding better pay and conditions.

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