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HomeOpinionVax mandate for education sector is 'senseless' - Small business owner

Vax mandate for education sector is ‘senseless’ – Small business owner

Decades old businesses could be finished as a result of the education vax mandate

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I am aware of a number of businesses in the Auckland area which will be hit hard by the government’s vax mandate for the education sector. These are small to medium sized operations, primarily family owned, some of whom have been trading for decades.

I spoke to one owner, John*, whose real name and that of his company I have chosen not to publish, for he has a real and genuine fear his business will suffer repercussions for speaking out. Welcome to Pyongyang folks.

Education vax mandate senseless news

‘They’re just senseless,’ said John. I would go further and call them idiotic and illogical. For John’s business, already suffering from eight weeks of no revenue, they could be the final death blow.

John explained how his company does a lot of contract work at schools in a particular trade. His company has been successful in the past, and built a reputation for reasonable prices, and good workmanship. Things were looking good, even through the first lockdown last year, which the company was able to weather, with financial help from the government.

But the landscape has changed dramatically with Chris Hipkins’ announcement last week that all workers in the educational and health sectors would need to be jabbed, or else lose their job. This was despite Jacinda Ardern’s repeated assurances in 2020 and 2021 that no person would ever suffer adverse consequences for not taking the jab.

Suddenly, everyone was scrambling. Project managers and head contractors now demanded proof of a clear test, no less than three days old, before anyone could enter a school work site. Huge wads of Health and Safety pamphlets were circulated, with updated COVID requirements. There’s now more COVID compliance paperwork than contractual paperwork. You need a lawyer just to understand what half of it means.

But for John the consequences of the vax mandate are more than just an administrative nightmare. He contracts out a lot of his work to sub-contractors, or independent contractors as they’re also known. The relationship he has with them is close – they’ve been working together successfully on jobs for years. They’re also all highly qualified and experienced, having spent decades in the trade. It would be no exaggeration to say these men are experts. Together with John they have worked on hundreds of school jobs, delivering quality, reliabilty and value for the taxpayer and children of Auckland.

Two have told John they will no longer do school work, because they refuse the jab. One has made plans to leave the trade and go farming. The third is jabbed, but won’t do anymore school work because he can’t be bothered with all the paperwork and testing. He has better things to do. You see, the nature of their work requires them to be on site multiple times at various stages of the project. Althought the work is critical in nature, typically they would only spend an hour or two each time they needed to be on site. If the contractor has to get a clear test each time he needs to go to site, at $300 a pop, the costs add up. Over the course of a typical school project, that’s an additional $1200 or $1500 in cost, none of which was quoted for in tenders awarded and underway prior to the current lockdown.

That’s three experts, with a combined experience of more than 100 years, lost to the trade, because of the illogical vax mandate. And for John, that leaves only one contractor who is able and willing to do the work. The potential loss of revenue is too much to think about.

But, I hear you say, why doesn’t he just find replacements? The short answer to that is, there are none. He has advertised repeatedly over the years for extra contractors, just to keep up with his existing workload. Not one ad has been answered. There is a serious shortage of these skilled workers, and the government just doesn’t understand the implications of these mandates.

Here’s why the mandate is illogical.

Neither children nor their parents are required to be vaxed to enter school grounds. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing, because who wants to have the clot shot? But the illogicality comes from the fact that children, in particular, are more likely to spend more time on the school grounds than one of John’s contractors. If the children are under 12, they won’t have been vaxed. Furthermore, the area where John works, and access to it, is usually fenced off. There’s no chance of a worker or tradie coming into contact with a student. Even workers that have been jabbed are considered a risk, because they still have to provide a clear test result. Madness.

A vaxed WORKER on site for no more than an hour has to have a clear test to enter school grounds, but an unvaxed parent or child can spend hours at school WITHOUT A TEST. It just doesn’t make sense.

In a statement today by Judith Collins, she said, ‘The Government is once again making things up as it goes along.’ There seems to be no rationality and logic to many of the rules. They’re arbitrary, piecemeal, and not thought through well.

Personally, I’m determined not to have the vax, for my own personal reasons, which I will divulge in a later post. The point is we are meant to believe this Delta variant is contagious and deadly. If it was that black and white, the rules of social interaction and work would not be so illogical. The fact they are, and are amenable to political experdiency, proves this pandemic has very little to do with protecting people’s health.

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