We want to assure you we are closely monitoring the ever-evolving situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure your safety and finacial security. Our union of 10,000 front-line school staff are right in the middle of this situation and our actions will be critical in ensuring our families, students and communities are as safe as possible as our state works to stop the growth of this virus. I want to update you on the big news announced today and what will happen over the next couple of weeks.
Today (Sunday, March 15th) Governor Walz announced ALL Minnesota schools will close to students from at least March 18th until March 27th, 2020 to develop plans for distance learning.
Some districts will close sooner and stay closed longer, so please keep an eye out for details from your district. School staff will continue to report to work during that time to help in the development of distance learning plans.
What we are asking you to do:
- Report to work as per your employer instructions;
- Let us know any issues you are hearing about or facing in the schools;
- BE SAFE and follow best practices as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the MN Department of Health recommendations.
Some things we have been working on and will be doing are:
- Working with legislators and the Governor to ensure your safety and financial security;
- We are continuing to push them on this, but Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, and Commission of Education Ricker have been very clear that they expect all school staff to continue to be paid by the district during any closures.
- Continuing to be flexible and work together to find new ways of doing things as we deal with this pandemic;
- Utilize conference calls whenever practical and making telework for staff that are able. We will be available for all union-related business via email and phone, so don’t hesitate to reach out;
- Cancelling our SEIU 2020 Lobby Day that was scheduled for March 24th
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact me directly or reach out to your Steward or Contract Organizer. Please visit our website at www.seiu284.org for updates as this continues to develop.