USEP UPDATE TO MEMBERS
Friday, June 26, 2019
Hello USEP Members,
Let me update you on the District’s communication regarding intent to return. While students are given three options – return to brick & mortar, MySchoolOnline or enroll in Pasco eSchool, teachers are only really given two options related to active employment – return to brick & mortar or request placement in MySchoolOnline. The other options would be retire, resign or take leave.
Students and employees were given the opportunity to express their intentions on fall options and asked to return the information by July 1. Many did just that and returned the information promptly. Others are waiting for some clarity. I’m sure there are also those who submitted one choice but due to changing circumstances would now make a different choice. Let’s be clear – whatever choices were made certainly cannot be binding to an everchanging situation but are intended to get an idea on where people intend to be come the opening of school. Just as sure as things will change from now until opening, employment needs will vary as well. Students who initially chose brick & mortar may opt for online and vice versa. This is a very fluid situation which makes it very difficult to predict and negotiate for.
Yesterday, USEP met in a Zoom meeting with 26 individuals from various groups to hear and discuss concerns expressed regarding re-opening of schools. Safety was paramount in the discussion for all employees and students as well. Various teaching options were also explored as we look to meet class needs based on student demand. We will seek clarity in how the MySchoolOnline platform is rolled out as many do not fully understand how this would look. USEP is also raising the concern for prioritizing those employees who have compromised immune systems in positions in the MySchoolOnline platform using content area and District seniority in determining assignments. We feel this is the best option to keep medically compromised employees in jobs that would not jeopardize their health. We all hope the medical situation with COVID-19 is effectively addressed sooner than later and we can all return to our classrooms with some sense of normalcy.
We also feel that content area and seniority need to be the determining factors for all other assignments.
Another outcome of this meeting will be for USEP to hold an SRP only meeting to address concerns as their needs, while similar in nature, are unique to their job assignments.<
Please know that USEP hears your concerns and will advocate for a fair and safe return to school.
Don Peace, President