In this Issue…Progress Update, Ventilation News, Union Strong Results!
April 2, 2021
Dear HEA Members,
I hope you will take a moment to thank your building safety teams and, in particular, your HEA COVID Co-Captains, who are putting tremendous effort into customizing health and safety protocols for your site. Their service to our colleagues and community is much appreciated.
This week we continued to bargain the impact of secondary openings and will have updates to Reps and members prior to the Rep Council Meeting on Monday, April 5 at 4:30.
Here is a link to the HEA website that provides you access to the joint documents we have bargained previously. It includes important provisions everyone should know given that those provisions which can apply to the secondary setting will continue to do so. Some language, however, required separate negotiatons, based on how elementary and secondary structures differ.
As has been the case throughout this year, our HEA-HSD shared agreements are approved for implementation once they have been agreed to via impact bargaining and/or the negotiated HEA-HSD problem-solving process. We elected this approach at the outset of the pandemic because we had an existing contract (CBA) in place and needed a nimble process that would allow us to find solutions in a rapidly changing, unpredictable context. Some of these agreements have been shared via admin packets and/or direct emails to members and administrators, while others have been collected and then shared in documents such as MOUs, MOU Addenda, or Shared Agreement compilations. While up until now, we have had the ability to vote on whether certain shared agreements were sufficient to begin in-person hybrid learning on a particular date for particular groups, that choice was taken out of our hands for secondary hybrid by the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation.
We will be presenting the new and continuing shared agreements to address secondary hybrid instruction during the HEA Rep Council Meeting on Monday. We encourage all members who wish to attend, to use the zoom link that will be sent with the Special Edition EFocus Bargaining Update coming out by Monday.
Finally, be sure to read the ventilation update below carefully. In addition to today’s webinar, we have confirmed with HSD that members can sign up for a walk-through of the ventilation in their classrooms next week, and have come to agreement about how those needing ventilation mitigation will access the services of King County Department of Health. Continue reading to learn how your feedback and an HEA Executive Board resolution helped make all this happen.
Ventilation in Secondary Schools. General information about the district’s approach to managing ventilation is available on the district website. In addition, the district hosted a webinar this afternoon for staff to hear directly from Sid White, Director of Facilities Services, about air quality and ventilation in school buildings and mitigation measures to ensure ventilation meets COVID safety standards. The webinar recording will be made available on the district website for those unable to attend today.
Individual school ventilation checks, as well as those conducted room by room at high needs school have been completed by Sid White’s team of professionals led by HVAC specialist Brian Cebe. The results are being added into section (I.) of your building’s safety plans. In addition, the previously negotiated process for accessing ventilation reviews continues to apply to secondary staff and will be included in the seconday addendum for ease of reference.
Ventilation Walk-throughs. Ventilation reviews are available for the following older buildings next week. Please complete this form by Monday at 8:00PM if you wish to schedule a meeting with Brian to review your instructional space/classroom.
• Wednesday (4/7): Manhattan Campus, Sylvester, Salmon Creek Campus
• Thursday (4/8): Tyee, Chinook, PSSC, Woodside Campus
• Friday (4/9): Evergreen, Cascade, time for any remaining sites
Classrooms needing mitigation were found at the sites listed for Wednesday. The district and the union are, therefore, jointly bringing in a King County Department of Health ventilation mitigation expert to review the approaches implemented for mitigating issues in those rooms. Please note, that regardless of whether you complete the form or not, we will personally be visiting every classroom where the ventilation has been identified as not meeting L&I safety standards without mitigation. This is to confirm the necessary mitigation has been provided prior to its use by our members. If your building is not listed here, you can still complete the form, and we will contact you to schedule a review.
Union Strong. Thank you for all who attended the secondary listening session and supported the breakout rooms on Monday. The largest concern that emerged from this session involved ventilation. As a result, later that night, the HEA Executive Board passed a motion that directed the membership to not enter their buildings to teach beginning on April 19 if any member is required to teach in a space that does not meet L&I Safety Standards. This motion was used to leverage additional individual room testing in older buildings, ventilation walk-throughs, appropriate and timely mitigation, and the Friday ventilation webinar. In addition, the HEA was provided access along with an outside expert from the King County Department of Health to review every room that has not met standard. Those processes will continue throughout the week and, if needed, during spring break.
This demonstrates that when we speak with one voice, we can meet the needs of our members. To keep up the pressure, I will be providing a detailed status report to the HEA Executive Board, Rep Council and COVID Co-Captains starting on Monday and continuing throughout the week as we complete walk-throughs. The district has repeatedly reiterated their commitment that all spaces used for in-person services will meet or exceed L&I requirements.