Nothing is more important to us than the health, safety and well being of our members and the students they serve. That is why I want to update you about our efforts on your behalf during this unprecedented and dangerous time and to respond to the most frequently asked questions.
We have been in close and frequent communication with District representatives to ensure that all recommended prevention and preparedness protocols are in place. This includes, but is not limited to, conducting additional cleaning and use of disinfectants, assuring teachers that they will continue to receive their regular compensation if a school or the entire District closes, and so many other related considerations.
While we do not yet have the answers to all our questions, we will communicate to you all the information as soon as we obtain it. Meanwhile, here’s what we can tell you now:
– The District agreed with us that teachers would continue to receive their full normal compensation if the District determined to close a school or to close all schools (Section 41-10.a.2 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement).
– The District’s current position is that any absence by a teacher because of contracting coronavirus, or because of fear of contracting coronavirus, would be treated by the District like any other sick leave absence.
– Based on reports from our members and RTA Faculty Representatives, we believe that the District is not ensuring proper cleaning/disinfecting of schools nor providing proper and needed supplies to do so. We have therefore filed a Class Action Grievance and urged the District to do so.
As you would surmise, the current health crisis is a rapidly evolving situation and it is difficult to predict whether our schools will close for any period of time or what other measures will become necessary. It’s still uncertain whether school districts would be required to make up some or all of the days that would be missed because of school closings caused by coronavirus. We will continue to monitor developments and to keep you informed. Meanwhile, please visit the RTA website <www.rochesterteachers.com> for the most current information and call the RTA (585 546 2681) with any questions or concerns.
Have a restful and safe weekend.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President