California Educator

February/March 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 63

Educators to State Leaders: Pandemic Plan Urgently Needed O N B E H A L F O F teachers, nurses, counselors and education support professionals eager to return to in-person teaching and learning, the CTA officers sent a letter to Gov. Newsom on Jan. 27 calling for an aggressive statewide plan to limit the transmission of COVID-19 over the next 100 days. The letter urges Gov. Newsom to engage in full partnership with national leaders on a coordinated, federally funded plan with clarity and common sense to address returning to schools in person during the pandemic. The letter reiterates what educators, working with epide- miologists and workplace safety medical experts, have said from the beginning: Low community transmission rates, a strong public health infrastructure, and layered prevention measures within schools that are effectively maintained, tracked and enforced are the path forward. Those actions, combined with an effective vaccine rollout, are necessary to get our schools open for in-person teaching and learning. As COVID-19 variants pose new dangers to community health and safety, it's even more critical to have a cohesive plan in place. To read the full letter, go to CTA Joins Amicus Briefs C T A J O I N E D Service Employees International Union, United Farm Workers of America, and numerous other unions in a coalition to file amicus briefs in support of two new emer- gency regulations intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 that were targeted in lawsuits filed late last year. After Cal/OSHA adopted the emergency regulations in November, two sets of industry groups (National Retail Federation and Western Growers Association) filed suits to block implementation of the critically important workplace protections — specifically challenging key provisions that require employers to provide paid leave to workers who need to quarantine because they have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. The amicus briefs highlight the role that workplaces have played in the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly those workplaces in which employers have not fol- lowed public health guidance, and the importance of the emergency regulations in protecting essential workers. Copies of the briefs and appendices are located online at Sign the Petition: Waive Testing This Spring C T A I S C A L L I N G for a waiver of state standardized testing this spring. Given widespread inequities in student access to technology and the internet, and concerns about the validity and comparability of any data gathered from state- wide summative testing administered remotely and taken under unknown and uncontrollable conditions, conducting standardized testing in spring 2021 would be detrimental to students and of limited use to teachers, schools and school districts. Instead, we should be focusing on supporting stu- dents in distance learning. Close to 19,000 educators, parents and community mem- bers have already signed the petition. There's still time to add your name — go to Worker Protections for All School Employees C T A I S C O - S P O N S O R I N G legislation introduced by Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) that would provide classified school employees the same rights as certificated employees when it comes to layoff notice and hearing rights. Currently, certificated employees must receive layoff notice by March 15 for the following academic year; classified employees can be laid off any time of year with 60 days' notice. Nearly 80 percent of classified employees are women. They are the most diverse group of employees working in schools and are the lowest-paid. "California's educators honor the services of classified school employees, who partner with us on a daily basis to provide our 6 million students with a quality public educa- tion," says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. "A student's school day begins with the first school bus ride in the morning and ends when the custodian turns off the lights at night. One of the many hard lessons of this pandemic has been acknowl- edging the divide that exists in our communities and also in our workplaces. That is why we are co-sponsoring this bill. We believe that in the unfortunate event layoff notices are issued, classified employees should count on professional rights that provide more stability as they strive to provide for their own families." As of press time, the bill did not have an official number. 41 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 21 A A D V O C A C Y N E W S

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - February/March 2021