We reported on school buildings that are too cold to teach and learn in yesterday. We find it very difficult to understand why the teachers and students don't leave instead of just tweeting. Here is another tweet from a school and Councilman Mark Treyger's reply:
Contract Article 10E1
E. Safe Environment
1. In recognition of the importance of employee safety and health, the Board agrees to provide the appropriate recognized standards of workplace sanitation, cleanliness, light, and noise control, adequate heating and ventilation. The Board of Education agrees to eliminate recognized hazards that are likely to cause serious physical harm.
If you tell your supervisors it is too cold (OSHA says 68-76 degrees) and you will work from home but they tell you that you have to stay, show them this that we have printed and reprinted:
-If any insane administrator questions someone, I consulted the UFT Chapter Leader Handbook about self-help. Self-help is when an employee is insubordinate by defying an order from a supervisor. Normally, a teacher should obey an order that violates the Contract and then grieve. However, the Handbook provides three justifications for an employee to be insubordinate. Two of them apply to our current situation:
First, the employee has a reasonable belief that carrying out the order will endanger the employee's health.
Second, carrying out the order will threaten the safety of others.
Please be brave. You are protecting your health and the well-being of the students too. Bring in a thermometer and take a picture of the temperature.
I have heard zero from the UFT on this issue. I gather they are working behind the scenes but the DOE bureaucracy is slow. The UFT doesn't have the spine, as usual, to tell its members to just work from home if it is documented that it is too cold in a building.
We so need a real union.
Some reaction on twitter: