Updated: August 14, 2020 11:10 PM
Created: August 14, 2020 07:30 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester City School District’s decision not to begin in-person classes for the first 10 weeks of instruction may mean layoffs for some employees.
BENTE Local 2419, which represents non-teaching employees, says Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small and the Board of Education, “have no intention of paying all of our members and that a number of them will be laid off.”
A letter sent to the superintendent says President Daniel DiClemente was told by the district’s legal team, not Myers-Small herself.
In the letter, DiClemente also says the last bargaining meeting was on July 29, and the union believed the hybrid model, where students would still be in school, but at a reduced capacity, would be used.
He also wrote that the union was promised in March by former superintendent Terry Dade, that members would be paid throughout the pandemic.
The letter concludes,
“The kids needed to be fed. The buildings needed to be disinfected. The School Safety Officers kept everyone secure. Imagine if the union had instructed them all to refuse?
They put their own health in jeopardy, some for $12 an hour, and the District’s response is to lay them off for a minimum of ten (10) weeks. Back then, we were “essential.” Now, we are viewed as expendable?
In my 27 years at the RCSD, I have never been more disappointed by the lack of communication and compassion exhibited by the leaders of this District. In a moment of immense uncertainty and danger, our members responded with immediacy and selflessness to support our students.”
DiClemente says Myers-Small is setting up at time to speak with the union.
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