Before Reopening, Teachers Unions Want Staff Vaxxed and Counties in the Safest Tier
What constitutes a safe environment for in-person learning? On that question, the state of California and labor unions are growing further and further apart.
A list of requirements for school reopenings was recently articulated by some of the state’s most powerful unions: The California Teachers Association; the California Federation of Teachers; the California School Employees Association; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and Council 57 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). They’re calling for the state to offer vaccines to all school employees. They also want to see county infection rates drop significantly.
Under the unions’ plan, in addition to staff vaccination, schools would only have to reopen when a county’s cases have dropped to less than 1 in 100,000 (the yellow tier). The state is a long way off from that. Right now, California is averaging 48 cases per 100,000 people.
The gulf between the state and teachers seems to be widening. Under current state guidelines, K-6 schools can reopen in the purple tier (7 to 25 new cases per 100,000) and middle and high schools can reopen in the red tier (4 to 7 new positive cases per 100,000 people in a county).
Read more about the dueling positions and the race for teacher vaccinations at EdSource.