October 02, 2022

City East Harbor Mission Pierce Southwest Trade Tech Valley West Emeritus

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President’s Message and Priorities for Re-Engagement
Posted On: May 20, 2021

Priorities for Re-Engagement

During the past 15 months we’ve heard your voices and listened to your concerns about what needs to happen for a safe reopening of in person instruction and student services. We considered your responses to our survey about reopening. From that feedback, we have incorporated your concerns into our current campaign to negotiate the best re-engagement agreement we possibly can for faculty and the students we serve. 

We have been building to this since March 16, 2020 when we left campus for what we thought would be a month or two.  

Then on March 18, 2020 at what would be the last in-person Board of Trustees meeting, the Guild fended off management’s brazen attempt to implement “Emergency Powers” which would have rendered our contract null and void. We didn’t let it happen. 

And we have continued to protect our faculty and students’ working and learning conditions through a series of MOUs, including one for “Hard-to-Convert” classes, allowing some students to complete courses on campus beginning last June. 

We have been building toward “re-engagement” since we left campus last March. And our message has been consistent: We will consider returning to campus only when it’s safe to do so, only when we have: 

  • access to COVID-19 testing,  
  • contract tracing,  
  • mitigation strategies in place (physical distancing, hand sanitation, masks, face shields, goggles, gloves, gowns when necessary),  
  • improved ventilation,  
  • vaccinations, and  
  • accommodations for those who must remain safer-at-home. 

All of which brings us to the re-engagement campaign we are currently involved in. Protracted negotiations began before Spring Break, on March 17, a year after we switched to living on Zoom. Two months later, we’re still at the table, fighting to ensure a safe and clean working environment that shows respect for all constituents. And let me be clear: we will not conclude when we have a signed MOU. We will remain vigilant and hold administration accountable for implementing agreed-upon protocols.

In Unity,
Joanne Waddell

AFT 1521 President

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