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Boston Teachers Union Reaches Deal With City To Allow COVID Testing For Unvaccinated Educators

BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Teachers Union and city officials have reached an agreement that will allow unvaccinated educators to submit two negative COVID tests a week, Mayor Michelle Wu announced on Thursday.

The city reached the agreement a day earlier with the largest union in the city. The union ratified the agreement with 84% of members voting in favor.

Boston School Committee members must agree to the new policy for it to go into effect.

Under the agreement, unvaccinated staff members can submit two negative tests a week "during periods of lower virus transmission." Specific metrics are included in the agreement.

When COVID transmission is higher, unvaccinated members will not be allowed in schools, but can use accrued time instead of being placed on unpaid administrative leave.

"I'm grateful for the vast majority of our teachers who have already gotten vaccinated," Wu said in a statement. "This overwhelming ratification vote of a policy that has already boosted vaccination rates across our workforce and will ensure that all new hires must be vaccinated will help us prioritize a safe and healthy environment for students and staff."

The union also issued a statement following the agreement.

"We are glad to have reached an agreement with the district that will uplift the health and safety of our educators, students, and communities, while still being able to retain our educators who have chosen to remain unvaccinated," the union said. "The agreement takes important steps to promote public health and to mitigate classroom staffing disruptions."

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