After considerable deliberation, the Federal Executive decided that:
“We acknowledge that the pathway to normality must involve widespread vaccination. This is needed for aviation and wider community recovery. We call upon the Federal Government to set a pathway towards recovery with all Australians offered full vaccination by no later than July 2022. After that time, the economy and borders should be opened without restriction. The ALAEA also acknowledges the choice of persons to not be vaccinated. We support the adoption of employment protection for those exercising such choice.”
This sets a platform for us to base all related representations and activities. We say it is a motion about choice. We support those who do not want to be exposed to Covid prior to being vaccinated. We also support those against vaccination. It is a call for Governments to plan for a day when we can return to normal. A plan none of them can outline as they focus on political point scoring.
Many want to return to normal now and think 12 months too long. Earlier would be preferable but unrealistic. At the current rate of vaccination, all Australian adults could not be vaccinated prior to April 2022. Arrangements then need to be made for minors. The option of choice goes both ways. You can choose not to be vaccinated now. You cannot choose to be vaccinated until it is offered. We would welcome any earlier supply and delivery of vaccines to bring the uncertainty to an end sooner.
The level of support we can provide those who elect not to be vaccinated is out of our hands. Courtrooms and Governments decide these things. We will do all we can including lobbying, negotiating, mediating and where possible seeking arbitration, to protect your choice. The mandatory vaccination question is an evolving global one far greater than one union.