On Monday afternoon outside the Rumney Marsh Academy members of the Revere Teachers Association (RTA) held a stand out and car parade calling for common sense school safety as teachers head back to school.
RTA members continue to argue that Revere Public School administrators refuse to allow teachers with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious COVID-19 infection to continue working remotely.
“We are simply asking that our central administration protects our most vulnerable members and do the right thing,” said RTA President Gina Garro. “The administration has refused to grant most of the accommodation requests of working from home for members who have a medically documented heightened health risk. Administration states that plans for cohorting kids in certain buildings is more important than protecting (RTA) members’ health. In certain buildings, student cohorting has been arranged to account for the need of remote teachers. This is a feasible accommodation and needs to be an option for all members.”
Garro said the district is currently denying most requests for staff to continue to work remotely with students who have also opted to remain in remote learning. She added that the RTA also asked that teachers be given the option to use sick time if forced to take a leave of absence and that option has also been denied.
“We would really like to be able to arrange an agreement with RPS so our members are granted the accommodations that their doctors request and can also continue to teach our students,” said Garro. “This is what is best for everyone.”
The decision to hold Monday’s protest emerged from negotiations about in-person learning ahead of school reopenings this month. Since agreeing to resume in-person learning Garro said the RTA members have been dismayed and shocked at what she called “draconian proposals” around health accommodations for high-risk staff.
However, on Tuesday the Revere Board of Health announced it plans to vaccinate 600 Revere teachers, early educators and school staff this Friday. (See lead story on page one).
The city’s board of health will work with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to begin administering the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna Vaccine is given in two doses but does not fully protect against COVID-19 until the second dose is administered 28 days after the first dose. So teachers would not get their second dose until April 9.