MEA stance on pandemic safety measures, including masking and vaccines

This week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released new guidance about layering protections for safer school operations during COVID-19.  They echo recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about in-person school this fall.

As rising case levels show, this pandemic is not over. MEA continues to believe health and safety must be the top priority in local education decisions from PreK-12 through Higher Education – and that those decisions should be based on the opinions of public health experts and be made with input from employees.

While final decisions about virus mitigation measures like masks need to be made at the local board level — and bargained by our local associations — MEA believes the MDHHS & CDC recommendations for universal masking in our schools are in everyone’s best interests. Keeping students, school employees, families and communities safe must take precedence, regardless of efforts to politicize these measures.

The MDHHS guidance includes promoting vaccination against COVID-19 for eligible students and staff. Regarding vaccine mandates, again, those decisions are made at the local level and are subject to collective bargaining — a stance MEA has reinforced since the beginning of this year.  As a statewide union, we represent members of varying beliefs, and we respect local control over those choices.  MEA is supportive of Michigan’s efforts to encourage safe, free and effective COVID-19 vaccination for those over age 12, with our research showing that more than 85% of school employees have been vaccinated so far.  We look forward to availability of the vaccine for younger ages as an additional tool to fight the virus and end this pandemic.

As always, MEA remains committed to supporting our diverse local associations, and their members, in ensuring employee’s voices are heard and heeded in local decision making.

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9 thoughts on “MEA stance on pandemic safety measures, including masking and vaccines

  1. How can you help us get our school boards to require universal masking? I am a parent in Livonia Public Schools where currently they are not requiring universal masking. They are also not requiring proof of vaccination for teachers. Can you help me get in contact with the local union, Livonia education association? Thank you for your time, and helping to keep our children, and our teachers safe.

    1. Yes!!!! Saginaw township too… the city and surrounding areas require it but not the township right next door!!

  2. Love the Honesty in Education pledge that starts with being against “Censor educators from using their professional expertise to teach students in the way they think best.” But, if a teacher uses their expertise to recognize the rest of the statements are harmful to our students, state and country, I wonder if the MEA will be supportive or divisive?

  3. I am not taking a side on masks, however, its the abandonment of all safety protocols that baffles me. We are in Clarkston Community Schools. We will welcome back assemblies, field trips, school visitors and parties. The superintendent announced that no quarantining, testing or notification will be required. As a parent this is all concerning and if I were a teacher, I would be concerned for myself and my family.

  4. Lanse Creuse Public Schools Board of Education and Superintendent don’t care about the health and wellbeing of their students. They are not listening to the parents concerns.

  5. The Benzie County Schools Board voted last night to defy the local health department’s mandate for universal masking, capitulating to the vocal parents at the meeting. They listened to those who shouted the loudest.

  6. MEA certainly is dodging a full on endorsement of masking and vaccines in a school setting. You ought to be vocal and be shouting from the roof tops rather than worrying about offending a small number of members. This current lukewarm approach to possibly the most important education issue in recent times is negligence.

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