Colleagues,

Like you, we too were surprised by this morning’s story in the Democrat and Chronicle (see below) that the District’s reopening plans are still in flux and continue to change. I reached out to Superintendent Myers-Small to inquire about the accuracy of the story and to express our frustration and concerns that teachers, students and families had to learn about it through the media instead of finding out directly from the District.

Superintendent Myers-Small indicated that the District continues to explore reopening options for the rest of the current school year. She expressed that the story was not accurately characterizing the District’s deliberations and that this would be soon clarified. Apparently, for the sake of equal opportunities for Elementary and Secondary students, the District may be deciding that the “learning pods” at the Secondary level (grades 7-12) may be twice a week – not just once, as initially indicated. 

It remains unclear to all of us what the District eventually determines to do with the reopening of schools. And while much of this is indeed within management prerogative, the District cannot unilaterally depart from either the terms of our recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or from the language in our current collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, we are reserving the right to negotiate the impact of the District’s decisions on the terms and conditions of work of affected RTA bargaining unit members.

As we have additional information, we will immediately communicate it to you. Meanwhile, please check the RTA website <www.rochesterteachers.com> for any additional updates and also feel free to contact us with any immediate or specific questions or concerns. 

Thank you for all you continue to do for our students during these very trying times. And thank you also for your continued solidarity and confidence in your union. We are all hoping that 2021 will be, in every way, better than the year we’ve had. Wishing you a safe and happy new year.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President

<https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/education/2020/12/30/rcsd-school-reopening-plan-reverses-course-will-offer-hybrid-for-high-schoolers/4062269001/>