The Independent Education Union is pushing for teachers across the Hunter and the State to be prioritised in NSW’s vaccination campaign.

There’s concern about the possibility of schools becoming local COVID hotspots, after thousands of staff and students in Sydney were forced to isolate over the past week.

NSW/ACT IEU Secretary Mark Northam says speeding up the vaccine rollout for teachers would be “significant step forward” for keeping schools open.

“Certainly not displacing frontline health workers, we’re not suggesting that at all,” Mr Northam said. 

“But we are suggesting that teachers should be prioritised and support staff to be vaccinated so that schools can operate smoothly and well in Term 3.” 

The Union’s also calling on the Government to provide paid vaccination leave for teachers and staff to book their shot in their busy schedules.

“The communities that our members serve, their appreciation of the role and function of a teacher during what’s been a fairly tumultuous year in education, schools have achieved magnificent things,” Mr Northam said.

“I think it’s time for a bit of repayment of the good stocks that teachers and support staff have built up.”