From our correspondent:
Ational-craziness, Georgia elections-big win, thanks to Tom (Murphy) and retiree chapter, AFT and UFTworked together for big deal, other craziness we dont know how it will play out for us.
Biden has been clear, he wants stimulus, schools open, and get vaccines out.
It is still politics, just because there are 50 dems doesnt mean we get everything, but should be easier to get school funding, state, city, more coming our way.
We dont know where this craziness will go. We have lost clout internationally.
Here in city, we are still dealing with high covid rates, we had a bump in percentages, but rates still crazy low, like .2 in schools but were still closing schools under emergency provisions, governor said mayor cant change that.
190 schools closed today, positive tests over weekend, so Monday is always worst day, schools closed this morning, keeps our schools safe, keeps our people closed.
1B opened up for vaccines, we fought, Cuomo realized 1A needed to be done, but vaccines were being wasted, so now we create pressure on system, we were working with providers were just making sure our people get it. Many healthcare groups running out already. Until Biden gets in, we are going to run out. Biden will release reserves and use defense act to ramp us production.
Only way out through pandemic is if 70% take vaccine, if not couple of years or more.
We have lots of teachers asking for it to be mandated while others screaming you can't make us take it.
We cant mandate it, we're not mandating, state may mandate at some time, but it will come from the state not us.
1b is 4 million people, we dont have enough vaccines.
Emails going out, we matched 6,000 members already. Itwill be one vaccine or the other, I recommend you take whichever one is available (Moderna or Pfizer).
We're the only union that has its own process, but there is scarcity of vaccines. City has had problems getting it out We dont know why, it boggles the mind.
We prioritized in person elementary, then middle and high in person members will be prioritized then to all our members
We negotiated 2 hours release time, now we have to deal with supts and p's reinterpreting. Try to show 3 days notice, if it is during work day, then show proof. We are not collecting data of who received vaccine. No database tracking who got it. 2 hours release time if during school day.
If you have adverse reaction, this will be low, very low percentage, you have 10 days of paid covid leave for symptoms, won't come out of CAR (bank) additional 2 days if you have fever. If you have amnything more serious, you will get paid additional time, depending on symptoms 2 or 8 additional days on top of 10. This was negotiated through MLC.
if state rate hits 9 percent mayor wont close schools, we will have to go to war.
If state says we're up to 9 percent it's up to mayor to close, always higher on Monday; we'll see where rates will be going, doctors say leave schools open because school rates are low
We still have politics, city elections, primaries coming in June, City council endorsements are coming, we have volunteers in all city districts.
City Council will be important because of deficit, want to avoid layoffs.
Starting in February, we will have mayoral panels; we'll do our process building our education platform, want to do these platforms, interview candidates, zooms open to membership with all candidates.
We'll come up with list of final panelists.
We have other races, DA race in manhattan is important, very powerful, next DA will take over all the Trump stuff.
Educational policies and financial stuff is important.
Nayor made some plans for post covid, we're fine with what he has laid out, we just need financing.
Special ed and legal people at DOE are not interested in ICT compliance, when we prove it's out of compliance they dont care
New chancellor for board of regents-Lester Young, we have a good relationship with him.
We also heard evaluation with MOSL and observations is still being negotiated.