NYC Teacher Unions ‘Prepared To Strike’ If Safety Demands Are Not Met

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, said at an interview Wednesday that schools were not all set to resume.

Richard Drew/AP

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Richard Drew/AP

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, stated at a press conference Wednesday that schools were not prepared to resume.

Richard Drew/AP

Nevertheless, a growing chorus of voices including the citys principals union have actually been asking for a delay because of “basic, but crucial concerns” about reopening: repairs to constructing ventilation, the availability of individual protective devices and cleaning materials, staffing, and other problems.

” Union getting charges, I go to prison, all of that,” Mulgrew stated. “Well do it if we have to.”

When an epicenter of the pandemic, New York Citys cases have remained low given that the start of June, and fewer than 1% of coronavirus tests have been coming back positive in recent days. Public health experts, including some who appeared at the UFTs interview, have verified that community spread is low enough in the region to match nations in Europe and Asia, where schools have actually reopened– with hygiene and social distancing in place– without stimulating coronavirus spikes.

If schools do open, he alerted, “It may be among the biggest fiascos in the history of the city.”

Mulgrew also called for checking all students and team member no more than 10 days before the start of school. Those who evaluate positive for antibodies might be presumed to have some continuing immunity, he said, while others would need to be re-tested routinely.

New York City City, the biggest school district in the nation with 1.1 million trainees, is likewise the only big-city school district planning to open its doors to students– albeit on a hybrid schedule with virtual learning– on time this fall. In a press conference Wednesday, the president of the citys largest instructors union stated the mayor needs to make major changes to satisfy the unions requirements for safe reopening.

If these demands are not met and school structures open on September 10, Mulgrew said, “The union is prepared to go to court and/or go on strike if we need to.” In New York State, the Taylor Law indicates stiff charges for public workers who strike.

In todays interview, the UFT restated these concerns. They stated that a task force of over 100 union members would be personally going to schools to look at stockpiles of materials, entry and exit procedures, and other products on a three-page safety list sent out throughout journalism conference.

” We do not think it is possible for schools to open on September 10,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of United Federation of Teachers, whose members include about 75,000 of the citys instructors, as well as other school personnel.

Lastly, Mulgrew wants to see enhanced contact tracing such that members of a school community could be reached and informed to quarantine within 24 hours of a favorable test result. Los Angeles Unified, the countrys second largest school district, which is starting the year remotely, announced a pilot strategy previously today to evaluate all students and provide contact tracing using its own staff.