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CHO issues Health Directive mandating vaccinations for staff in schools, correctional centres and youth detention centres

Following an announcement last Tuesday 30th November, Queensland's Chief Health Officer has issued the Health Direction for Workers in a High Risk Setting, which comes into effect today, 11th December. Vaccination will be mandatory for all staff in schools, correctional centres and youth detention centres, with the first dose required by 17th December, and the second by 23rd January 2022.

View the Health Direction in full on Queensland Health's website.

This latest mandate follows previous Chief Health Officer decisions regarding government owned galleries, museums, and libraries, disability workers, and other workgroups. These mandates will mean workers in many public sector departments must be vaccinated or vaccinated soon. Together members in those departments are in discussions with employers to ensure those mandates are rolled out fairly.

Directors-General also have responsibility for making decisions about COVID-19 safety plans, including mandating vaccines. Your union will need to be prepared and have a position on mandated vaccinations for public sector members.

There is a significant opportunity to work together with agencies to ensure that your workplaces are safe and fair as we see increased transmission in our communities, rather than just letting employers decide. When workers have a seat at the table to influence decisions, the outcomes are better for workers and for your communities.

The pandemic has been a period of high stress, anxiety and increased isolation, our mental health has taken a hit. The conversation about workplace health and safety shouldn’t begin and end at mandatory vaccination. The impacts on mental health can’t be ignored in the response to COVID-19 in public sector workplaces. 

Now more than ever, workers need a collective voice on COVID-19 safety. Join your union today to ensure timely and meaningful consultation in your workplace.