The union says they’re ready to resume in-person classes if they’re vaccinated and the city is in the red tier, or even unvaccinated if it’s in the orange tier.
All of this week’s sturm and drang over the suddenly very contentious SFUSD school reopening wars — the city suing its own school district, and Mayor Breed speaking at a reopening rally that apparently blindsided the principal of the school where it was held — all seems to miss a rather important point. San Francisco is not even to where it is eligible to reopen schools under Governor Newsom’s state guidelines, which say the middle school and high schools should only reopen if the district’s county is on the less restrictive red tier (K-6 schools may reopen if the county is in the purple tier, which SF is currently in).
But we’re close to the red tier, and sides are finally at negotiating tables, as the Examiner reports that the SF teacher’s unions have submitted their proposal for their terms to returning to in-person classes at schools.
It’s actually several educational staff unions that presented their plan Friday, the largest of these being the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF). But the unions together offered that they would return to work if SF county were in the red tier, and also made vaccinations available to them. They also offered to return without vaccinations if the county were in the less-restrictive orange tier. The Chronicle adds that the union has some other workplace safety demands with regards to testing, PPE, ventilation, and disinfecting.
“We all need to be working together on this, unions, the school district and The City,” UESF president Solomon said, per the Examiner.
The Chron notes that “more than 15,000 private school students are back in class,” largely without superspreading incident. The Mercury News checked out Bay Area schools operating with COVID-19 precautions in December, and found very low numbers of infections.
Tensions are running high, but the fact we are finally having this conversation is something of a milestone. For nearly an entire year now, kids and parents have been bouncing off the walls as the city, as a whole, has had no idea how or when this long and excruciating shelter-in-place would ever end. Now parameters are being drawn. So despite the lawsuits, publicity stunts, and shouting, this could likely be the beginning of the end of the lengthy distance learning disaster.
Image: Ed9 via Wikimedia Commons