Class Action Grievance - Reopening Schools
Regarding the debate about the first day of preplanning and the start of classes, to be clear, the union never suggested changing the starting date or moving the date of the first pay check. It appears that this change was made by District leadership not only without discussion with CTA, but also without any prior discussion with the School Board.
The OCPS 2020-2021 school calendar was approved (with the July 31, 2020 starting date for preplanning and August 10, 2020 starting date for students) at the June 7, 2020 School Board meeting. We suggest these agreed upon dates be kept and that preplanning be used to train teachers for effective distance learning in LaunchED. On August 10, 2020 every student could start instruction with distance learning until it is safe to reopen schools.
The emergency order calls for schools to reopen for face-to-face instruction in August. It did not say what day in August. If the District is prepared (and we do not believe that they are judging by summer school and noncompliance with masks, social distancing etc.) and CDC guidelines indicate a 14-day consecutive downward trend in Covid-19 cases, then the District could offer limited face-to-face instruction on August 31 and still be within the guidelines of the mandate. If Florida is still considered the epicenter of the pandemic at that time, then the School Board should delay face-to-face instruction until it is safe to reopen schools.
As far as CTA is concerned, the first day of preplanning is July 31, 2020.
CTA received hundreds of emails and calls from panicked and angry teachers concerning the changes in dates. The vast majority do not want the dates changed. Teachers made plans, they budgeted, and many said that they are running short of money. Some lost their second part-time job due to the pandemic. Some have said that their spouse was furloughed or laid off. Still others said that they do not want the work-year extended in June 2021 because of the District’s unilateral decision. Others said they have medical bills, car payments and rent or mortgage payments due.
CTA has filed a grievance. We believe agreements should not be broken. We believe teachers should be respected. We believe the District has a legal obligation to bargain in good faith.
CTA recommends that you email your principal ASAP to let her/him know your preference for the first day of preplanning, according to the MOU:
As stated in the remedies in the grievance that CTA filed, we call for all brick and mortar schools to remain closed until health authorities and CDC guidelines deem it is safe to open. This would include returning to school for preplanning.
Please see the grievance below, which addresses the change in starting dates and other issues.