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Boston, teachers reach Covid-19 deal that could allow unvaccinated teachers in classroom while citywide infection rates are low

The Boston Teachers Union and the Wu administration have signed a "memorandum of agreement" under which teachers who refuse to go near a needle can keep working as long as they undergo two Covid-19 tests a week - and as long as Covid-19 infection rates are relatively low.

According to the mayor's office:

The signed MOA allows unvaccinated members to submit proof of two negative COVID-19 screening tests per week during periods of lower virus transmission, the specifics of which are outlined in the agreement. During periods of higher virus transmission, unvaccinated members will not be allowed in school buildings, but may use some accrued time as an alternative to being placed on unpaid administrative leave.

The agreement calls for using the same criteria as those recently announced for eliminating the requirement to show proof of vaccination to get into public indoor spaces: Hospital ICU bed use below 95%, fewer than 200 hospital beds occupied by people with Covid-19 and a seven-day average test positivity rate below 5%.

The School Committee still needs to approved the agreement.

When Mayor Wu first announced the city's new get-vaccinated-or-laid-off policy, she and city health officials said the rapid spread of the omicron variant had made an earlier one-test-a-week alternative to vaccination impractical.

Unions representing firefighters and police superior officers and detectives sued over the policy. A Suffolk Superior Court judge refused to block implementation, but the unions appealed and a Massachusetts Appeals Court judge put the vaccination mandate on hold until she could consider the issue - something she has been doing since Feb. 1, when the city filed a response to the union lawsuit.

Separately, a City Council committee holds a hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday on the Wu administration's vaccination mandates for city workers. The hearing will be conducted via Zoom, not in person.

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Comments

Must be another decision arrived at by a straw-poll of a random group of teenagers.

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Why only teachers and not firefighters or police?

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The unions objected to an across-the-board change in the memoranda of agreement signed by the Janey administration - which allowed for weekly testing instead of shots - and so we got three first-responder unions suing the city.

The city then started bargaining with each of the unions. The teachers and City Hall reached an agreement; firefighters and police did not (well, the BPPA did, but the union membership voted it down).

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That the other city unions will sign off on similar agreements.

But honestly, Adam. Are you really claiming that the BPPA voted down this exact same agreement?

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Are you really claiming that the BPPA voted down this exact same agreement?

Adam said no such thing. He said they voted down AN agreement, not this agreement.

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I case you can't go that high up the comment chain, here's what he wrote

(well, the BPPA did, but the union membership voted it down).

Sure seems like he's saying the BPPA voted down the agreement the BTU (or whichever union or unions representing BPS employees) agreed to.

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Yes, it states clearly that they also reached “an” agreement, which was voted down.

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I case you can't go that high up the comment chain, here's what he wrote

You left out the defining context of that quote. Adam wrote:

The teachers and City Hall reached an agreement; firefighters and police did not (well, the BPPA did, but the union membership voted it down).

Nowhere does Adam say or imply that the BPPA voted on the same agreement that the teachers got. If you can't be bothered to be honest, why should we pay your opinions any mind?

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As apparently does Adam. As written, the BTU and City Hall reached an agreement, as did the BPPA and City Hall, but the membership of the BPPA voted it down. There is an implication that the union membership voted this agreement. I didn't mention the IAFF, since they have never reached an agreement with City Hall either way. They fought tooth and nail, even criticizing the BPPA for bargaining with the City on this. At the end of the day, the BTU got something that could be the template for other city unions.

Years back, there was an advertisement that had a friend worried. I explained what the advertisement meant, which lead her to say that she was wrong. I then noted that if the advertisement needed explanation, it wasn't a good ad. To say the least, that was not a well written sentence.

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As written, the BTU and City Hall reached an agreement, as did the BPPA and City Hall, but the membership of the BPPA voted it down.

As Adam explicitly stated, he did not know what was in the voted-down BPPA agreement, and so your assumption that it was the same as the teachers' one is misguided, and your assertion that Adam implied that it was the same agreement is just wrong. He also explicitly said he didn't.

You really are exhibiting some reading-comprehension problems here. To dredge up a years-old anecdote about how you managed to convince some person that your interpretation of an ad was correct is hugely irrelevant.

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From other sources. The deal was that BPPA members would still be required to get the jabs, but in return members would have gotten a few extra days of leave. It was rejected because, as the firefighters noted, this isn't about getting more money (which leave technically is.)

There's no way that Adam didn't know that, unless the claim is that Adam isn't paying attention to the issue, which we know isn't the case. Check the Globe from January 26, which discusses the proposal. Wu was adamant that all employees get vaccinated at the time. It would appear that a few weeks later her stance has softened.

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I have no clue what was in that agreement because at the time the news was the voting down union leadership, not what was in the agreement, so, no, I am not saying they voted down what the teachers voted for.

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Look, you've been following this story, and surely if you didn't know the details of what the BPPA membership rejected, you know that Wu didn't offer them a variation of the agreement they made with Janey, which is what this agreement is. If Wu's stance at the start of the year was that now unvaccinated employees have to get tested twice a week instead of once, no one would be talking about this change.

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From the Globe, there’s colored “zones” that seem to dictate when testing is okay vs. when unvaccinated employees must be excluded from the workplace and the firefighters union spoke to the Globe on it.

First responders have also been offered a testing opt-out option during times of lower transmission, but the unions have not yet reached an agreement with the city. John Soares, president of Boston Firefighters Local 718, said the sticking point was over which COVID-19 metrics would be used to define the “yellow zone” when testing would be allowed in lieu of vaccination.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/02/10/metro/michelle-wu-its-deeply-disa...

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But to put up a comment based on a misreading of what Adam wrote, then double down by quoting only part of his comment, that's dishonest. Own your mistakes, why don't you?

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I feel bad for the businesses that have to do whatever Mayor Wu says. Meanwhile, your kid’s getting taught by an unvaccinated teacher.

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I feel bad for all the people (vaccinated and more often unvaccinated) who’ve gotten sick with covid and died.

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This is another example of the vaccinated accommodating the unvaccinated who continue to fuel the pandemic. Thanks a lot.

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"you all only complain if it's cops and firefighters, not teachers."

Well, you're wrong.

Fire all of them.

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