Schools to place unvaccinated staff on leave Tuesday

Coronavirus

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — School districts are preparing to place unvaccinated teachers and staff on unpaid leave starting Tuesday.

Portland Public Schools was the first district to mandate vaccines for their workers. Students in the district started a weekly COVID-19 testing program at the beginning of October.

PPS confirmed it would increase pay for bus drivers between $3 and $6 per hour to help fill empty positions.

Oregon’s second-largest school district, Salem-Keizer schools, said 95 percent of their employees had reported their vaccination status or received an exemption.

In Eugene, students and teachers have Tuesday off as the district prepares for any changes as a result of the vaccine mandate.

In the Beaverton School District, 39 percent of their substitute staff is not in compliance with state requirements and cannot return to work until they get the shot or an exemption. Substitute teachers account for the overwhelming majority of their workers who are out of compliance.

Less than one percent of BSD full-time staff is either unvaccinated or received an exemption.

In addition, Beaverton schools, who said they are experiencing “significant labor shortages” already, are offering a $500 sign-on bonus to new hires in these categories:

  • Bus drivers (31 current openings)
  • Nutrition Services (23 current openings)
  • Custodians (11 current openings)
  • Paraeducators (99 current openings)
  • School office assistants
  • Classified school support substitutes (400 current openings)

A $500 bonus is also being offered to some employees who stay past the vaccine deadline. The district said it expects more openings to become available after Tuesday.

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