The Andrews Labor Government has admitted that it will not be ending teacher vaccine mandates, despite calling for the recruitment of 1,900 teachers in its 2022-23 budget.
Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings have revealed that the Government has sacked 297 staff who have refused to have the first two doses, with another pool of up to 200 staff yet to record their third vaccine.
It comes as schools across the state have experienced continued staffing shortages, leaving classrooms empty after two years of remote learning.
Shadow Minister for Education, David Hodgett, said despite the glaring demand for more teachers, more than a fifth of the Government’s recruiting target is available and willing to teach.
“The teacher vaccine mandate makes no sense and is preventing our students from accessing a ready-to-work qualified pool of teachers,” Mr Hodgett said.
After two years of interrupted learning, Daniel Andrews should be utilising every single teacher to help fill the void of lost education, rather than clinging onto a cruel and unnecessary mandate that hurts both our students and teachers.”
The Government has also not yet stated what it will do if it cannot find the 1,900 teachers to fill the workforce shortage, nor what it will do if any potential new teachers into the system also refuse to be vaccinated.