Questions for the UFT about COVID19

The following are questions that have been generated by a group of grassroots rank and filers and parents who are concerned about COVID19 in the schools. We hope to get answers at today’s DA and posted on Please contact if you would like to get involved in organizing around this issue.

  • What is the union’s position on the closure of schools? Is the 24 hour cleaning and contact tracing period sufficient for preventing spread of infections?
  • What is the union doing to protect teachers with health conditions who are more vulnerable to a severe COVID19 infection []? (Teachers in these situations have been asked to contact to “explore accommodations as needed.”) Will their CAR days be restored if they elect to stay home to protect themselves? 
  • What about a teacher that falls ill and stays home until feeling better and to seek diagnosis? 
  • What is the union doing to protect teachers with respiratory conditions exacerbated by the new disinfection protocols, as well as pregnant teachers?
  • How are we ensuring schools are identifying and helping children with a fever and other symptoms? [this is a particular problem in campuses that have school based health clinics, if a parent hasn’t signed a consent for that student, the clinic staff can’t even take their temperature!)
  • In numerous schools UFT members do not know the protocols to follow if a student or adult should have the virus. How can the UFT utilize UFT Boro Safety teams to ensure that all schools  are in compliance with a quarantine room and a designated person within the next few days?
  • Can we advocate for designated DOE staff to follow up on students sent home sick to help families access medical resources?
  • Can schools provide families with resources they may need, ranging from thermometers to lists of COVID testing sites that can serve families that don’t speak English, as well as for families concerned to visit health facilities due to immigration status and the public charge policy?
  • What can we do to get more cleaning supplies for classrooms? 
  • The extra overtime for custodial staff for deep cleaning is not sufficient for cleaning some larger buildings. What can we do to advocate for more? (We have heard of schools locking of bathrooms after school hours with as few one bathroom per campus open)
  • What specific steps will be taken with the bus operators and bus operators’ union to insure that CDC guidelines are being followed in the transportation of students?
  • Does the DOE plan on releasing a more specific field trip policy, especially for trips outside of NYC or involving large gatherings of people? 

Demands from Grassroots Organizers Concerning COVID-19:

COVID 19 Resources for your classroom: by Kim Dempsey

Teaching Remotely Times of Need: by Torrey Trust

NEXT MORE Event: Film Screening – Warriors of Education – Wednesday March 25th, 6-8pm at The People’s Forum, 320 w 37th St – Check our website for updates

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