Despite union demand, compulsory vaccination for teachers remains

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Although the teachers’ union PDSZ says the government has promised to reconsider the union’s demand to revoke the compulsory vaccination of teachers, the government strongly denies it.

After Italy, Hungary was the second country in Europe to introduce compulsory vaccination for teachers. Orbán’s government announced late last month that starting November 1, all employees in public education, vocational training and higher education institutions will need to be vaccinated. In the event that a teacher decides not to comply with the new regulations, he may be sent on unpaid leave of one year by his employer.

The decision sparked strong opposition in Hungary, with several teachers’ unions fiercely criticizing the decision, arguing that teachers should not be forced to get vaccinated. In addition, they believe that the introduction of compulsory gunfire could result in further movement of the workforce in an industry already facing a severe labor shortage.

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There are not enough police and firefighters on duty now, and due to this recent decision “there will be no one to do the job”, according to the president of one of the unions.

According to Erzsébet Nagy, member of the board of directors of the PDSZ teachers’ union, educators who have not yet applied for the vaccine will stick firmly to their decision, which could lead to an exodus massive public education.

Another major point of criticism, according to Nagy, is the lack of uniform regulations, because unlike state institutions, heads of religious, foundation and municipal educational institutions may decide to make vaccination compulsory, while ‘it would be much better to have legislation that applies to everyone.

Zsuzsa Szabó, president of the teachers’ union, PSZ, Recount ATV’s severe shortage of teachers could put schools in a difficult position, made worse by the fact that we are in the middle of the school year. This means that if one person decides not to be vaccinated and is expelled, an entire school could be paralyzed, the president said. According to the government, eighty percent of teachers have already been vaccinated, although teachers’ unions have not received the exact figures.

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Some reactions include welcoming the mandate, criticism, and a teachers’ union official foresees chaos.

Last week, the PSZ and PDSZ held talks with the Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI), which is responsible for public education, and called on the government to withdraw compulsory vaccination in the public sector.

Later, Erzsébet Nagy told the daily Nepszava that they had been promised that the government would reconsider the union’s demands by next Wednesday.

However, in response to the news, EMMI issued a statement noting that government officials did not make such a promise.

The ministry admitted to having received such a request but it was not a question of the compulsory vaccination of teachers but of the withdrawal of all the legislation, which goes far beyond the framework of the individuals represented by the teachers’ unions, a writes EMMI.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs / MTI


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