Dear Students, Families, and Educators,
We have received many questions about the District’s surveys and announcements to provide an in-person option starting March 1, for students in PreK-1st grade and students enrolled in Special Education Intensive Service Pathways. SPS did not partner with SEA in any way on these surveys.
Our current agreement with the District (reached August 2020) states:
“The parties agree that the provisions of this agreement shall remain in effect until August 31, 2021 or until a replacement agreement is bargained. The parties understand that during the 2020-2021 school year the public health situation may change allowing for hybrid or full in-person learning. All stages of remote to in-person learning will prioritize the health and safety of students, staff, and the greater community, while continuing to support students furthest from educational justice. The parties will meet to bargain modifications to this agreement prior to implementing changes in the working conditions and expectations of SEA represented employees.”
As we have stated previously, educators are ready to negotiate in good faith and will continue to insist that any in-person model centers safety and equity for the school community. We will work diligently to reach an agreement as soon as we can, but we also believe it is important to be transparent and honest with families. The March 1 reopen date is aspirational and was determined by SPS as the earliest possible reopen date based on various factors to operationalize getting schools ready, but it is not guaranteed. Like many in our communities, we have a number of questions and concerns about the District’s plan that need to be addressed before an agreement can be reached.
We know this continues to be a difficult and uncertain time for everyone. We will provide bargaining updates to our members and the school community whenever we can throughout this next bargain and also continue to do what we can to support our community during this ongoing crisis.
Jennifer Matter, SEA President
Uti Hawkins, SEA Vice President