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In The Know

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As the semester comes to a close, I wanted to update you regarding the COVID-19 Impacts Side Letter YFA has negotiated with the district. The letter is on the YFA website and I encourage you to read it in its entirety. As mentioned in the last Rep Council highlights, the Side Letter covers several main areas: remote operations, labs and evaluations, while at the same time preserving collective bargaining rights. This latter point is especially important given how fluid the current situation is and the fact that we don’t yet know what issues might arise over the coming months.

One important point that I want to underscore is that the Side Letter establishes the period of March 16 through August 15 as a boundary around the extraordinary measures being taken. The end date can be extended by mutual agreement only. The Side Letter also explicitly states that course conversions to online modality is not precedent setting and that faculty do not have to continue teaching their courses online once the emergency subsides.

With regards to evaluations, the side letter suspends evaluation requirements for the duration of the Side Letter agreement. By mutual agreement, faculty can complete evaluations that were well in progress.

Finally, any faculty required to work on campus during remote operations are guaranteed safe working conditions and access to proper personal protective equipment. At the same time, faculty shall be given controlled access to offices and classrooms for the purposes of obtaining personal possessions or materials necessary for continued instruction.

I hope you’ll agree that this Side Letter establishes clear parameters for working within the existing situation. It is yet another example of YFA and the district working collaboratively for the benefit of all district employees and students.

Presented with the unique challenges of the pandemic, faculty have risen to the occasion and made the transition as seamless as possible. While we are all sad to miss graduation and the other culminating events of the season, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time and know that we’ll all be back next year, just as united and focused on student success as ever.

In service & solidarity,

Shelley Akiona

YFA President

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