We just completed Bargaining Meeting #9.
Normally, we like to lead with the positives but tonight let’s start with the items that are still outstanding:
- We are still trying to close the gap between the District’s expectation that teachers will plan and simultaneously deliver in-person and at-home content to students and our position that no one should have to work two jobs at once. This was a very long discussion with no firm outcome yet.
- We are still waiting for the HVAC Assessment for our buildings. The District has not provided us with the assessment report that we have requested over and over. We insist that we not be required to enter buildings until that report is issued to us and the buildings are deemed safe.
- We are also far apart when discussing requiring Covid testing for returning staff. The deadline for free testing within the City seems to be 9/15, so we suggest that all staff find a Stop-the-Spread testing location and get tested prior to return. If we only wait for the District to agree to testing then, we will miss this state deadline. Testing sites were emailed to us by the HPS on 8/28. The link is here: www.mass.gov › info-details › stop-the-spread
- We have not yet agreed to the requirements and expectations for Wednesdays.
- The District verbally proposed their schedule for phasing in from full remote to hybrid, 9/16 through 10/5. The team received the proposal in writing and will review the proposal and respond on Friday
- The District verbally proposed a way to reduce the number of contacts by our Specialists teachers. We requested that document in writing and will review that when received.
We have agreed to produce a list of district-provided PPE designated by your role and responsibilities, so every member knows what will be in place to keep them safe. We agreed that members of HEA will be part of a Joint Stakeholder Coronavirus Response Team, and seem to be getting closer to agreement regarding classroom teachers being considered “close contacts” for contact tracing purposes.
The District says the repair work they have done so far and the temporary scrubbers should make the rooms safe but we prefer to see the actual assessment. We need to discuss as an entire membership: are we prepared to begin in-person work without having that assessment as assurance? There are many opinions on the many issues that must still be resolved. We need to hear them all and determine how to proceed as a united union for a SAFE return to OUR schools. Please watch for the link to the All-Member meeting Thursday at 4 PM and make every effort to attend.
Nancy Koorapaty and Christine Hickey
Bargaining Team Co-chairs