MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA — Charlie Crist’s recently chosen running mate, Karla Hernandez-Mats, pressured and brought disciplinary actions against Miami-Dade School District teachers in 2021 for failure to provide their private health information concerning COVID-19 vaccination status.
In a clear violation of Florida's Executive Order 21-81, Mats did not defend her union members from the district's requirements, forcing teachers to provide their private vaccination status. Mats further filed disciplinary actions against multiple teachers, according to documents obtained by The Florida Standard. In addition, Mats and her staff targeted teachers who cited religious or medical reasons for declining the vaccine.
Teachers in the district posted a video clip of signs created by union representatives Joe Minor and Dina George that read “NO VAX, NO ENTRY, SAFETY #1.” The union, United Teachers of Dade, where Mats is president, did not return a request for comment.
Mats arbitrarily imposed policies on her staff without going through proper union channels, resulting in unfair labor practices filed against the union, as noted in the documents. "The policy states that if you are COVID-19 positive or you have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and have not been vaccinated, not only are you mandated to quarantine for 10 days but that she will charge you your sick days," one teacher posted.
But in a tweet dated January 4, 2021, the union wrote “we surveyed about 500 of our teachers and found that only half of them were open to taking the vaccine,” causing confusion among the staff. Referring to Mats’ policy, a member wrote “It further states that if you did not disclose your vaccination status, that the assumption is that you are not vaccinated, therefore giving President Karla Hernandez-Mats the authority to enforce the above policy.”
PRIVATE HEALTH INFORMATION
The Governor's Executive Order, signed on April 2, 2021, states, “Individual COVID-19 vaccination records are private health information.” Later in November 2021, the Florida legislature validated the Executive Order establishing a new law that states in part that "government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees."
A Miami-Dade teacher, referring to Mats’ Union Proposal #2, stated in the group, “You may ask yourself, why is Karla Hernandez-Mats monetizing something that is not fully vetted? It also requires people to reveal their vaccination status and provide proof of such, violating the governor's mandate.”