Good Evening Sisters and Brothers,
Tonight’s Joint Stakeholder Coronavirus Response Team meeting has just concluded. As always, we reviewed the latest public health numbers and discussed implications for the district. The Administration recently concluded its parent survey and reached out by telephone to over 2,000 families who had not responded to indicate their preferred learning model (in-person or remote) for the remainder of this school year. Though the Association meets with the Committee again tomorrow to negotiate, the Administration has only just begun to analyze the data to determine what impact educators can expect on their working conditions such as class sizes, roster changes, and even potential reassignment.
Join us on Tuesday, March 23rd for an ALL MEMBER MEETING to update you on our first two bargaining sessions and so you can provide feedback to inform the bargaining team going forward.
Air quality testing, which the School Committee agreed to in order to implement hybrid learning in the fall was only just completed in February. Reports provided to the Association last week and are available here on our website for members to review. It should be noted that buildings were tested under reduced capacity and it is unclear what, if any, conclusions about the air quality under increased occupancy can reasonably extrapolated from this data. The Association has sent these reports to an independent environmental health and safety analyst provided by the MTA and we will share her findings with you when they are available.
Fortunately, other factors continue to improve albeit slowly, and hundreds of educators have been able to receive or make appointments for the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
This week the City of Haverhill’s average daily incidence rate dropped from 25.1 to 22.7 (per 100,000 residents) and the percent positivity rate fell from 3.91% to 3.85%, though this change was not statistically significant. Pooled testing continues in our schools, with over 150 pools from earlier this week all coming back negative. As more and more educators receive vaccines, public health officials continued to advocate for everyone to participate in pooled testing going forward as it’s still possible to carry and spread the virus to others even after fully efficacy.
As we navigate through what we all hope will be one final transition due to the coronavirus pandemic, I’m proud of the work our democratic union was done and all that we have accomplished for our members. Though there is much left to do, we have proved time and again that when we act collectively – when we flext our Union muscle – we have the power to affect real change in our schools and our community.
When we fight, we win.
Anthony J. Parolisi
Haverhill Education Association