Hawke's Bay faces potential teacher shortages and resignations following the Government's Covid-19 vaccination mandate announcement.
Principals' Federation president Perry Rush said since the announcement on Monday, he had already learned of one teacher aide resigning.
"The teacher aide who resigned did not want to be vaccinated, and resigned directly as a result of last night's announcement."
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford said the union fully supported the Government's public health advice ordering all staff in schools and early childhood centres to be fully vaccinated by January 1, 2022, and receive their first dose by November 15.
However, he said while the education sector was keen to play its part in the fight against Covid, more guidance was required around the repercussions of refusing to get the vaccine.
"It could mean teacher shortages, because one of the concerns around the requirement is what will happen if staff are resigning as a result of it," he said.
"We need to be sure there is a fair and just employment process which is followed, and that's where the union will have a major role to play.
"I am not aware of any legal action being taken by those who are vaccine-hesitant yet.
"The Government has to look at the needs of the school as well as the needs of the teachers."
Covid-19 response and education minister Chris Hipkins said those who didn't get vaccinated will not be able to work in the same roles.
"One of the reasons we chose January 1 was because it does give schools the month of January to sort out their staffing arrangements for next year."
Which begged the question of what roles, if any, they would still be able to work in, said Rush.
"It's very surprising that this hasn't already been sorted by the Government," Rush said.
"It's hard to see there being any significant alternatives for teachers who don't get vaccinated, and we need clear information on that.
"But the good thing is that the Principals Federation has been invited by the MOH to be part of the response to that."
He said the key thing to keep in mind would be whether the teachers who did not get vaccinated had any other options other than a face-to-face role.
Secretary of Hawke's Bay Primary Principals Association, and Bledisloe School principal Carol Bevis said she was happy to report that a majority of the staff at her school were fully vaccinated.
"But we will still need a careful and considerate approach towards staff who chose not to be vaccinated."
All staff at schools and early childhood centres who have contact with children and students would need to have a first dose by November 15, and to be fully vaccinated by January 1.
PPTA Te Wehengarua President Melanie Webber said they supported the announcement.
"Public health orders such as this are based on scientific evidence and a robust legal framework. The national executive agrees that vaccination is the best layer of defence for students, teachers and communities during the Covid-19 pandemic," she said.
"We are keen to get more information about how the new requirements will work in practice, particularly for those teachers who choose not to be vaccinated."
She said the union's national executive met early last week and was able to form an agreed position on mandatory vaccination for teachers.
In spite of the agreement her main concern, like others, was for members choosing not to get vaccinated, and exactly what their options were.
"We know that they will not be able to continue to teach face-to-face but we would like to get a clearer idea of what options might be available for these teachers.
"PPTA Te Wehengarua field officers will provide all the support they can to ensure that fair and just processes are followed but such situations are inevitably stressful and worrying, so I do feel for them."