USEP to Push for “Virtual” Return to Schools
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USEP to Push for “Virtual” Return to Schools

Considering the continued increase in positive cases in the coronavirus pandemic in Florida and the reality of some form of return to schools, the United School Employees of Pasco held a meeting of our school-based union representatives yesterday. Pasco’s children must not return to schools until the COVID-19 numbers for Pasco show a decline in positive cases. The numbers show a steady increase in positive tests. Why would the state put us in a situation where positive numbers are higher than when we went into a “Stay at home” order? The meeting was attended using the “Zoom” platform by over 100 reps and a thorough review of the recent USEP Survey was conducted.

After a significant discussion of the survey that contained over 3,800 responses from teachers and SRP, and members expressing individual concerns for a safe return, the Rep Council endorsed the following written resolution:

“In order to promote health and safety for students and staff, USEP will strongly advocate for the District to conduct schools in a Distance Learning only format until there is a 14-Day downward trend in positive COVID-19 cases”

This supports the recommended CDC guidelines. USEP will now take action to move the Pasco County School District to modify its position of a “brick & mortar” return to school until the trend of COVID-19 cases reduces over a 14-day period – per the CDC and other Health Dept. guidelines. Student and employee safety and health have to be paramount at this time and a virtual return to school will enable the District to provide the safe working environment our union contracts stipulate as well as provide students with a learning environment that worked very well during the final quarter last year.

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If you are an employee of Pasco County Schools and not already a member of USEP, consider joining today! Members are eligible for a wide range of benefits through our affiliates and benefit partners. USEP also provides members with professional development opportunities and representation for member issues.