February 26, 2021
Today, Summit shared with us their proposal for returning to in-person learning. In explaining their proposal, Summit outlined all schools continuing with virtual school while families will have the option to have their students return to building as workspaces and teachers working from an assigned space with a cohort to supervise.
The proposal has a number of problems, including that it would force teachers to return to school in person.
We want to make one thing very clear: there will be no physical return to school of any kind until our union has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Summit. This is a matter of life and death for our members, our families, and our students. We believe it is crucial to get this right and will not be pushed to speed up by arbitrary timelines or deadlines. Your health — our community’s health — is the most important consideration. For the sake of transparency, and to move the conversation forward, we have already communicated to Summit’s bargaining team that we cannot accept forcing teachers to return to work in person.
There are a number of values reason behind this:
- Teachers have the right to make the decisions to protect their lives
- Teachers have a variety of personal reasons in the name of protecting their lives, livelihoods, families, and the people they live with to not come back.
- Teachers were informed by their admin that we would be in virtual school for the whole year. Teachers made a variety of financial and life decisions based on being told we would stay virtual and having pay frozen over the summer and the beginning of the year. We cannot ask teachers to uproot their lives for the last three months of school.
If Summit truly believes in leading with empathy and kindness, then Summit should show empathy and kindness to their employees as they make their own decisions. If Summit truly respects the voice and professionalism of teachers, then Summit should allow teachers to make the best choice for their lives, the lives of their families and those they live with, and in the interest of meeting their own needs so they may show up with their best self for their students.
Here is a link to the Summit’s proposed MOU for teachers returning to school sites.
Here is a link to Summit’s proposed Reopening Manual Draft.
Unite Summit will continue to bargain over school reopening Monday, March 1st from 2:30 – 5 pm. We will also be hosting two Town Hall zoom meetings on Tuesday, March 2nd. The first will be at 12:00 – 1:00pm and the second will be 3:30 – 4:30 pm — link here. Please come to ask questions, voice your input and be involved with this major decision.