Here’s a brief update:
– Vaccination or Testing Mandate. More than 95% of Rochester teachers have submitted either proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 testing. Those who have submitted neither are being notified by the District that failure to comply with the District’s requirement will constitute insubordination and may lead to a counseling memorandum, an unpaid leave of absence, and/or discipline up to and including termination. Proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test can be emailed to <Benefits@rcsdk12.org>. Affected teachers can email RCSD’s Director of Staff Relation <Jefferson.Dedrick@rcsdk12.org> and/or contact RTA’s Martha Keating <email@example.com> with questions or concerns.
– Proposed Solutions to Reopening Concerns. Based on the collective wisdom of teachers, RTA submitted proposals to the District addressing the key and widespread concerns with the reopening of our schools for in-person learning. In the spirit of “solution-driven unionism,” we offered suggestions and rationale for alleviating the lack of substitute teachers, reducing class sizes to make social distancing possible, alternatives to simultaneous teaching, reducing the need for late dismissal of students due to transportation issues, better meeting the needs of Special Education students, improving proper wearing of face masks by students, more effective communication and adherence to protocols when students test positive for COVID-19. We will soon report to you any progress we may make on these and related issues.
– Negotiations. In addition to the Impact Bargaining on issues related to reopening of schools for in-person learning, we are also preparing for general negotiations for a successor contract. Both the District and RTA hope to begin the bargaining next month in hope of achieving a settlement before the current extension of our contract expires. Prior to any bargaining on specific issues, RTA’s negotiations team will reach out to elicit our members’ input and suggestions.
– Open House. The District notified us that, during the pandemic period, open house districtwide will be virtual and not in person.
Please continue to bring questions, issues, and concerns to our attention. And thank you for all that you continue to do for your students.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President