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With Plans Announced To Reopen Schools In September, The Buffalo Teachers Federation Reaches Out To The AFT, The NEA & NYSUT ‘To Help Advance Legislation Protecting Teachers With Pre-Existing Conditions’

Published Wednesday, July 15, 2020
by BTF News & WNYLaborToday.com Staff
With Plans Announced To Reopen Schools In September, The Buffalo Teachers Federation Reaches Out To The AFT, The NEA & NYSUT ‘To Help Advance Legislation Protecting Teachers With Pre-Existing Conditions’

(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) – As New York State issues guidelines to be met when it comes to reopening schools in the Fall, the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) has reached out to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union to request legislation be advanced that would protect Teachers, School Staff and students with pre-existing conditions.

In a letter sent to AFT President Randi Weingarten, NEA President Lily Eskelsen and NYSUT President Andrew Pallotta, BTF President Phil Rumore wrote:

I know this is probably under consideration, (but) just in case.

There are many Teachers, School Employees, students, etc. with pre-existing conditions that if required to report to work/school, endanger them and risk their and others’ lives/well-being.

We need legislation enabling Employees to work from home and if that is not possible, not be charged with sick time/leave.

If this is already in effect, please advise us.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and guidance during these difficult and dangerous times.

The BTF letters were cc’d to Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

Schools in New York State can reopen in September if the Coronavirus infection level is 5% or lower in their region by the first week in August, but will remain closed if the level rises to 9% or greater before the day school opens, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday (July 13th).

Under the guidelines announced by the Governor, schools throughout the state would be allowed to open given current conditions, with the infection level statewide Sunday at 1.08%.

The region where a school is located must be in Phase 4, the last phase, of reopening.

The 5% level must be a 14-day average, while the 9% level would be a 7-day average.

If the levels hit 9%, “that means the virus is moving rapidly and it is not intelligent to reopen," Cuomo said.

“(Then) We hit an emergency stop button,” he said.  “It’s very simple, it’s clear.

For More On This Labor News Story, Read The Following Two Labor News Reports Headlined: NYSUT Says Governor Cuomo’s State School Reopening Guidance Plan Has New York State “Moving In The Right Direction” And NYSUT Says ‘Safety Is Paramount’ When It Comes To Opening Schools Across New York State– Releases List Of Six Actions ‘That Must Be Taken Before That Can Happen’

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