The Department of Education will now allow many more teachers to work from home this upcoming school year as part of a new deal with their union, officials said late Friday.
Previously, any teacher who was not a given a specific coronavirus exemption was required to be present in school each day — even when teaching remote classes without kids present.
But the United Federation of Teachers pushed back on that in recent weeks and ultimately won the major concession.
“The DOE will be instructing principals that all UFT-represented employees in all job titles who have no on-site duties or responsibilities have the option to work remotely,” the union said in a letter to members Friday.
The DOE had already given roughly 16,000 teachers – or 21 percent of the citywide total – coronavirus medical exemptions that will allow them to work from home this year.
“Supervisors may require UFT employees to remain on-site on an as-needed basis only,” read the UFT missive.
The union said the allowances will “keep us safer and reduce the traffic on overextended Wi-Fi networks” within schools, according to the letter.
Teachers who are primary caregivers and have medically vulnerable family members at home will be given priority for the expanded pool of remote-only slots.
In addition, all parent teacher conferences — normally held face-to-face on school grounds — will be conducted remotely this year, the union said.
The deal will also bar principals from compelling teachers to live stream their on-site classes to kids learning remotely.
Facing heavy union opposition, Mayor de Blasio has been pushing for a partial reopening of city schools, arguing that kids needed to resume that aspect of their former lives — even if in a limited fashion.
DeBlasio has also asserted that remote learning is inherently inferior to classroom instruction and that prolonged absence from school will deepen learning deficits.
But teacher groups vigorously resisted a return to classrooms, arguing that conditions are still too risky and that DOE preparations have been inadequate.
Some UFT factions have charged the DOE with failing to provide proper protective gear or offering reliable COVID-19 testing procedures.
About 100 DOE employees died from COVID-19 last year, the agency reported.
In parrying union objections, De Blasio has recently highlighted that only 0.3 percent of roughly 17,000 city teachers who have taken coronavirus tests have come up positive.
Roughly 540,000 city kids are expected to begin a hybrid learning model this next week that will have them alternate between home and building instruction.
About 460,000 have opted for a remote-only format.
Parents who chose the blended model expressed surprise and dismay last week when the DOE revealed that there was no guarantee that their remote classes would even be led, in real time, by a teacher guiding them online.
With school populations split up to enable social distancing, the number of classes in most schools has multiplied.
That in turn has created staffing shortages across the city that the DOE has been scrambling to fill in recent weeks.
“These common sense policies will help keep our school communities safe while enabling you to do your work,” UFT chief Michael Mulgrew told members Friday of the new concession.
New York Post
- Governor Abdulrahman of Kwara declares 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolisOctober 24, 2020Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, on Friday night, declared a 24h-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, ...[Read more]
- Femi Adesina explains why President Buhari didn’t mention Lekki Killing in national addressIn EndSARSOctober 24, 2020Femi Adesina, Spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that his principal did not miss anything in his (Buhari) nationwide broadcast on ...[Read more]
- President Buhari gives account of those killed during the #EndSARS protests across the countryIn EndSARSOctober 24, 2020President Muhammadu Buhari has said at least 69 people have been killed during the #EndSARS protests across the country. According to the BBC, Buhari ...[Read more]
- Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State lifts 24hour indefinite curfew imposed on the StateOctober 24, 2020Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has lifted the 24hour indefinite curfew imposed on the State. The Commissioner for Information and ...[Read more]
- I would manage a team against Arsenal – WengerOctober 24, 2020Legendary Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has admitted he could manage a team against his former club. Wenger left the Gunners job in 2018 after 22 ...[Read more]
- Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, proscribes IPOB in RiversOctober 24, 2020Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, has proscribed all activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in the State. Governor Wike made the ...[Read more]
- Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Why El Clasico clash will be ‘strange’ – KoemanOctober 24, 2020Barcelona boss, Ronald Koeman, has said that his side’s La Liga El Clasico clash against Real Madrid on Saturday will be ‘strange’ because it will be ...[Read more]
- Buhari meets with former heads of States and Security chiefsOctober 24, 2020President Muhammadu Buhari and former Nigerian leaders are in a meeting. The parley may not be unconnected with the widespread violence in the ...[Read more]
- West Ham vs Man City: Guardiola team’s plane develops problem during trip to LondonOctober 24, 2020Manchester City’s team flight to London was rerouted, after an aircraft fault on the eve of their Premier League clash at West Ham. Sportsmail ...[Read more]
- Manchester United vs. Chelsea: Who wins the Premier League clashOctober 24, 2020Manchester United will welcome Chelsea at Old Trafford this weekend for Match Day six of the Premier League season in the English top flight. Both ...[Read more]