UPDATE: AFT Guild Survey on Student Masking and Vaccination Requirements (06/21/2022)

Dear AFT Guild Members,

As described in my email dated May 16th, 2022 below, during the period of May 16-26, 2022 we hired an outside firm to conduct a random poll of our members in order to ascertain how they felt about the District considering changing its policies regarding student masking and vaccination requirements.

We realize that there were many technical glitches during the calling period, but in the end the number of our members responding to our survey was good.  Checks for bias indicated that the results probably reflected the true feelings of union members in both Districts.

Fifty-seven percent of our entire membership supported the current policies of requiring student vaccinations and masks and only 34% opposed, making for significant support for continuing these polices.  The greatest support was for vaccinations with 70% supporting and only 27% opposing, but even the support for masking was fairly strong:  56% supporting to 40% opposing.

Our members’ attitudes toward exemptions were more complicated.  Fifty-one percent supported continuing the general policy of not allowing for any exemption, and 44% opposed.  Strongest support was for continuing the policy of denying religious exemptions where 58% supported and 37% opposed.  With medical exemptions, however, the pattern reversed itself: 58% opposed continuing the ban on allowing medical exemptions for in-person services and only 37% supported it.

The sub-samples showed the same patterns as just described with only a couple of differences.  In regards to the policies of requiring both vaccinations and masks, the support was greater than 50% in each sub-group surveyed.  In general, contract faculty at both districts were slightly more likely to be strongly supportive of continuing these policies than either adjunct faculty or classified professionals, but this consistent difference was only a matter of a few percentage points.

Where majorities of contract and adjunct faculty continued to support the general policy of denying any exemption, a significant majority of classified professionals opposed this policy.  The place where this difference between the classified professionals and faculty was greatest was in the area of the religious exemptions.  The majority of classified professionals wanted this policy of denying religious exemptions ended, while similar majorities of faculty at all levels wanted them continued. Near universal agreement between all of the sub-groups, was in the desire to end the policy of denying medical exemptions.  All faculty sub-groups along with the classified professionals want this policy ended.

We realize that at this point in time both Districts have already modified their policies for the fall, dropping vaccination mandate for students, while keeping the masking requirement in place.  We will be sharing this survey data with the administration in the hope that it will inform their decisions moving forward.

Many thanks to all of you who took part in this survey, and my apologies to those of you who were hung up on multiple times!

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding any of the foregoing.
In Solidarity,
Jim Mahler, President
AFT Guild, Local 1931