Dear UFT Member,
We have been fighting to make the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to all school personnel as soon as possible. At his press conference today, Governor Cuomo asked the UFT and other unions representing essential workers to put together operational plans to distribute the vaccine to members who want to receive it.
We are working with hospital chains and other medical providers in the New York City area to create a vaccine distribution network for UFT members. We won't have to rely on the city's flawed process, which has left scores of vaccines sitting on the shelf. We will share the details with you as soon as we have finalized our plan.
New York City was the only large school district to reopen for in-person learning in September. It's good to see the state and the city acknowledge the vital role you have played in holding this city together throughout this pandemic.
Offering the vaccine to school staff is a significant step in ending this public health crisis. But it is not enough. With numbers in our community on the rise again, our fight to gain access to the vaccine must go hand in hand with our continued fight to keep schools safe. We cannot focus on one and neglect the other.
Other current issues
The fight to close at 9 percent
We disagree with the governor's new position that schools can remain open even if the community infection rate is above 9 percent. Safety comes first — as shown by the fact that hundreds of our elementary schools and classrooms are closed temporarily every day because the virus has been detected. We will be fighting for all schools to go remote if the New York City infection rate as calculated by the state reaches 9 percent.
State vs. city numbers
The state infection rate for New York City is the only number that matters in any decisions involving schools.
Up-to-date safety data
In our new school COVID response database, we are sharing the most up-to-date information on classroom and school closures to prevent COVID spread and most recent state infection rate for New York City. Our diligence in continuing to close classrooms with positive cases or schools with two or more unrelated cases will continue to be our priority to keep our school communities safe.
We will keep you updated with the latest developments. Thank you for all you do.