Teachers Unions – CEC UGC http://cec-ugc.org/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 15:54:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://cec-ugc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default-150x150.png Teachers Unions – CEC UGC http://cec-ugc.org/ 32 32 EDITORIAL: Biden polls, virus and teacher unions https://cec-ugc.org/editorial-biden-polls-virus-and-teacher-unions/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/editorial-biden-polls-virus-and-teacher-unions/ The latest polls show President Joe Biden is more underwater than Donald Trump when it comes to his disapproval rating. On the positive side, he is held in higher esteem than Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. According to the realclearpolitics.com poll average, 52.6% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the man in the White […]]]>

The latest polls show President Joe Biden is more underwater than Donald Trump when it comes to his disapproval rating. On the positive side, he is held in higher esteem than Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell.

According to the realclearpolitics.com poll average, 52.6% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the man in the White House, while 42% give him a favorable rating. Mr. Trump’s numbers are 51.7 and 41.8, respectively. Mr Biden’s negative rating was eclipsed only by Kamala Harris (53%), Ms Pelosi (57.7%) and Mr McConnell (59%).

Progressives will say that the president’s dismal numbers reflect his inability to push their radical agenda through Congress, but that would be grossly inaccurate. The vast majority of Americans go about their day-to-day business regardless of the constant partisan bickering among Beltway insiders. With COVID raging, inflation at 30-year highs, grocery store shelves half-empty in places, and teachers’ unions again threatening to close schools, frustration naturally mounts – and the occupier the Oval Office pays the price.

Mr. Biden’s problem is an acute lack of leadership. He was far too quick to appease his party’s far left and terrifyingly threatening to react to events on the ground, seemingly caught off guard by every new development, from Afghanistan to skyrocketing prices to variants of virus. Mr Biden could take a step toward rebuilding his position by articulating a more realistic perspective on COVID, suggested last week by members of his former health advisory board, who urged the administration to “adopt a whole new one national pandemic strategy focused on the ‘new normal’ of living with the virus indefinitely, not eliminating it, ”The New York Times reported.

Although some of the experts’ recommendations should not begin – a vaccine passport, for example, would never pass the constitutional test – the idea that the country cannot be “in a perpetual state of emergency” due to COVID- 19 would be a step in the right direction. The president could also strengthen his position by confronting the shameless teacher unions – especially in Chicago – determined to exploit the pandemic to the detriment of the country’s children.

“If the president were to stand up firmly and uncompromisingly in Chicago, where teachers (last week) refused to work,” the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan wrote on Saturday, “this would be kind of a moment. It would make parents across the nation jump in real appreciation. Someone is helping.

Big Education is among the Democratic Party’s biggest financial benefactors, and angering such a powerful interest would be risky for Mr Biden. On the other hand, sometimes leadership requires turning your customers upside down because it’s the right thing to do.

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Six sources of power for the Chicago Teachers Union – wirepoints https://cec-ugc.org/six-sources-of-power-for-the-chicago-teachers-union-wirepoints/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 23:44:03 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/six-sources-of-power-for-the-chicago-teachers-union-wirepoints/ By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner Chicago Teachers Union is out on the Chicago kids once again. This is the fifth time in ten years. As the CTU / CPS stalemate enters a new week, it is important to understand where the teachers’ union’s power to disrupt the lives of 300,000 children and their parents […]]]>

By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

Chicago Teachers Union is out on the Chicago kids once again. This is the fifth time in ten years.

As the CTU / CPS stalemate enters a new week, it is important to understand where the teachers’ union’s power to disrupt the lives of 300,000 children and their parents comes from: state bargaining laws, a long history of appeasement by the CPS, generous compensation and political weight.

The unions made a mess of Chicago, but it’s the politicians who are more to blame. They are the ones who either give in to the union’s demands or grant them even more power.

It should be easy for every Chicago resident – and every Illinois resident who ends up paying in one way or another for Chicago’s problems – to link the many crises created by CTU to their local legislator. Any legislator who voted last year to increase the negotiating power of the CTU and / or to put amendment 1 in the November ballot effectively supports the actions of the union.

For Illinoisians looking to hold their elected officials to account, here are six ways lawmakers are complicit in the CTU’s buildup of immense power:

1. The CTU is empowered by some of the most union-friendly collective bargaining laws in the country. Illinois lawmakers not only force governments to negotiate with public sector unions on a multitude of issues, not just wages, but they also make teacher strikes legal – one of 13 states to do so ( see appendix 1). This is in stark contrast to states like North Carolina, which completely ban collective bargaining with teacher unions.

CTU won even more bargaining power last year, when Governor JB Pritzker enacted Law HB2275, increasing the number of employment issues that can be negotiated by the union.

2. CTU is emboldened by its long history of strike action. The union has a long history of successful strikes and walkouts: 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 2012, 2016 *, 2019, 2021 *, 2022 * (see appendix 2). * disengages

3. Chicago leaders have always appeased the union. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has twice given in to the union’s demands. First in 2012 after a week of strike, then again in 2016 after a day of walkout. Mayor Lightfoot has also appeased the union on several occasions. Just two years ago, his starting contract offer, the “most generous” in the history of the SPC, met an 11-day strike. And in January 2021, when Chicago teachers refused to show up for work in defiance of a return to classrooms directive, Lightfoot pushed back the school start date. again and again instead of facing the union.

4. The union enjoys strong support from its well-paid members. A large majority of Chicago teachers still agree with the union’s actions. In 2016, 95 percent of the union’s voting members were in favor of a strike. In 2019, 94 percent of teachers voted in favor of the strike. And last week 73 percent of CTU members voted to return to distance learning.

The stake for the members is one of the most generous compensations of the country. Chicago Public Schools pay teachers salaries that are among the highest compared to the nation’s 148 largest school districts, according to the National Council for Teacher Quality. For new teachers with BAs, CPS pays $ 60,000 in salary, the highest in the comparison group. For most other levels of education and experience, Chicago consistently ranks in the top five (see Appendix 3).

The average CPS career educator retires at age 62 with a severance pension of $ 74,000 and can expect to collect over $ 2.3 million in retirement.

5. The union exerts its influence through millions of political spending and lobbying. Beyond the picket line, the union collects millions of membership dues which are then spent on lobbying, legal issues and political campaigns. Prior to its two-week strike in 2019, for example, the union spent the previous 15 months $ 1.5 million on lobbying and other political activities. He also spent $ 1.2 million on ACANs for allied candidates and groups.

6. Politicians encouraged the union by submitting Amendment 1 to the November ballot, signaling that they are in favor of even more power for public sector unions. This amendment, if approved by Illinois voters, will enshrine collective bargaining rights in the constitution, denying any chance of future labor reforms and subsequent property tax relief.

Learn more about Chicago Public Schools:

Annex 1.

Annex 2.

Annex 3.


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Teachers’ unions push for distance education, Democrats worry https://cec-ugc.org/teachers-unions-push-for-distance-education-democrats-worry/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 10:00:13 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/teachers-unions-push-for-distance-education-democrats-worry/ Few American cities have such a heavy-handed union policy as Chicago, where the third-largest school system in the country closed its doors this week after teachers’ union members refused to work in person, arguing that classrooms class were dangerous in the middle of the Omicron wave. But in a number of other places, the precarious […]]]>

Few American cities have such a heavy-handed union policy as Chicago, where the third-largest school system in the country closed its doors this week after teachers’ union members refused to work in person, arguing that classrooms class were dangerous in the middle of the Omicron wave.

But in a number of other places, the precarious labor peace that has allowed most schools to function normally this year is in danger of collapsing.

While not yet threatening to quit their jobs, unions are back at the bargaining tables, in some cases pushing for a return to distance learning. They frequently cite understaffing due to the disease and a lack of rapid tests and medical grade masks. Some teachers, in a rearguard action, have organized work stoppages.

In Milwaukee, schools are set apart until Jan. 18, due to staffing issues. But teachers’ union president Amy Mizialko doubts the situation will improve significantly and fears the school board will resist expanding online courses.

“I predict it will be a fight,” Ms. Mizialko said.

She credited the district with at least delaying in-person schooling to start the year, but criticized Democratic officials for putting unrealistic pressure on teachers and schools.

“I think Joe Biden and Miguel Cardona and the newly elected mayor of New York and Lori Lightfoot – they can all declare that the schools will be open,” Ms. Mizialko added, referring to the US Secretary of Education and the mayor of Chicago. “But unless they have hundreds of thousands of people to replace the educators who are sick in this uncontrolled wave, they won’t be.”

For many parents and teachers, the pandemic has become a drudgery of anxiety over the risk of infection, childcare crises, on-screen school boredom and, most importantly, the chronic instability.

And for Democrats, the resumption of tensions over distance education is a clearly undesirable development.

Because they have close ties to the unions, Democrats fear that additional closures like the ones in Chicago could lead to a possible repeat of the party’s recent loss in the race for governor of Virginia. Polls showed school disruptions were a big issue for swing voters who shattered Republicans – especially white suburban women.

“That’s a big deal in most of the state polls we do,” said Brian Stryker, partner at polling firm ALG Research whose work in Virginia indicated school closures were hurting Democrats.

“Anyone who thinks this is a political issue that ends at the Chicago city limit is delusional,” added Mr. Stryker, whose company polled for President Biden’s 2020 campaign. “It’s going to resonate all over Illinois, across the country.”

Over one million of the country’s 50 million public school students were hit by district-wide closures in the first week of January, many of which were abruptly announced and sparked frustration among parents.

“The kids aren’t the critically ill ones overall, but we know it’s the kids who suffer from distance learning,” said Dan Kirk, whose son attends Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. of Chicago, which was closed amid deadlock this week.

Several non-union charter school networks and districts have temporarily switched to distance learning after the holidays. But as has been the case throughout the pandemic, most of the district-wide temporary shutdowns – including in Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee – are taking place in liberal-leaning areas with strong unions and an approach. more cautious of the coronavirus.

The unions’ demands echo those they have been making for nearly two years, despite everything that has changed. There are now vaccines and the reassuring certainty that transmission of the virus at school has been limited. The Omicron variant, while highly contagious, appears to cause less severe disease than previous iterations of Covid-19.

Most district leaders and many educators say it’s imperative that schools stay open. They cite a large body of research showing that closures harm children, academically and emotionally, and widen income and racial disparities.

But some local union officials are very wary of crowded classrooms. In Newark, schools began in 2022 with an unexpected period of distance learning, which is scheduled to end on January 18. John Abeigon, president of the Newark Teachers Union, said he was hopeful about the return to the buildings, but was unsure if every school could function. without issue. Student vaccination is far from universal, and most parents have not consented to their children being tested for the virus on a regular basis.

Mr Abeigon said if testing remained scarce, he might require distance learning in specific schools with low vaccination rates and high caseloads. He agreed that online learning is a burden on working parents, but argued that educators should not be sacrificed for the sake of the economy.

“I would see the whole city of Newark unemployed before I let a single teacher assistant die needlessly,” he said.

In Los Angeles, the district worked closely with the union to keep classrooms open after one of the nation’s longest pandemic shutdowns last school year. The vaccination rate for students 12 and older is around 90 percent, with a mandate for student vaccination expected to go into effect this fall. All students and staff are tested for the virus weekly.

Still, local union president Cecily Myart-Cruz would not rule out pushing for a return to district-wide distance education in the coming weeks. “You know, I want to be honest – I don’t know,” she said.

Tensions aren’t limited to liberals States. In Kentucky, teachers’ unions and at least one large school district have said they need flexibility to walk away amid rising infection rates.

But the Republican-controlled state legislature has given no more than 10 days for such a district-wide instruction, and unions fear it is insufficient. Jeni Ward Bolander, leader of a statewide union, said teachers may have to quit their jobs.

“The frustration builds on the teachers,” Ms. Ward Bolander said. “I hate to say that we would be leaving then, but it is entirely possible.”

National teachers’ unions continue to call for classrooms to stay open, but local affiliates hold the most power in negotiations over some districts to close schools.

And over the past decade, some residents, including those of Los Angeles and Chicago, have been picked up by militant leaders whose tactics may be more aggressive than those of national leaders like Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and Becky. Pringle of National Education. Association, both close to President Biden.

To complicate matters, some locals are under internal pressure from their own members. In the Bay Area, splinter groups of teachers in Oakland and San Francisco have planned work stoppages and demanded N95 masks, more virus tests and other safety measures.

Rori Abernethy, a college teacher in San Francisco, organized a work stoppage on Thursday. She said the Chicago action prompted some teachers to ask, “Why isn’t our union doing this? “

In Chicago and San Francisco, working-class parents of color disproportionately send their children to public schools, and they have often supported strict safety measures during the pandemic, including periods of distance learning. And in New York City, the country’s largest school district, schools are operating in person with increased numbers of virus tests, with limited dissent from teachers.

But politics gets complicated in the suburbs, where union leaders can find themselves in conflict with civil servants preserve in-person schooling.

In Fairfax County, Virginia’s largest district, the superintendent has a plan to move from individual schools to distance learning in the event of many absent teachers.

Kimberly Adams, President of the local education association said his union might want tougher measures. And she said districts should plan for virus outbreaks by handing out devices for potential short periods of online schooling.

But Dan Helmer, a delegate from the Democratic state whose swing district includes part of Fairfax County, said there was little support among his constituents for a return to online education.

Deb Andraca, a representative for the Democratic state of Wisconsin whose district is just north of Milwaukee, where schools became remote last week, said Republicans had targeted her seat and she expected that schools are a line of attack.

“Everyone I know wants schools to stay open,” she said. “But there is a lot of talk about the fact that teachers’ unions don’t want schools to stay open.”

Jim Hobart, partner of Public Opinion Strategies, a polling company that has several Republican senators and governors as clients, said the issue of school closures created two advantages for GOP candidates. This has helped shrink their margins within a demographic they have traditionally struggled with – white women in their mid-twenties and mid-fifties – and it has generally undermined Democrats’ claims to competence.

“A lot of people – Biden, Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago – have said the schools should be open,” Hobart said. “If they fail to prevent schools from choosing to close, it shows weakness on their part.

Labor officials say many of their critics are acting in bad faith, exploiting parental frustrations over the pandemic to advance long-standing political goals, like discrediting unions and expanding vouchers for private schools.

So far, neither the criticisms nor the broader challenges of the pandemic appear to have significantly hampered the public reputation of unions, even according to polls conducted by researchers skeptical of teachers’ unions.

And if it turns out that Democratic candidates are paying a political price for union assertiveness, local labor officials don’t see it as one of their main concerns.

If the distance learning periods this winter have hurt the Democratic Party, “that’s a question for consultants and brains to resolve,” said Abeigon, the Newark union president. “But is it the right thing to do?” There is no doubt in my mind.

Holly Secon contributed to San Francisco reporting.


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Save the children, fire the teachers’ unions https://cec-ugc.org/save-the-children-fire-the-teachers-unions/ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 04:00:00 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/save-the-children-fire-the-teachers-unions/ IYou started in Chicago, where 91% of unionized teachers voted to strike and refused to do what they are paid to do, which is to teach. Then, union walkouts spread to Maryland, New Jersey and California. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Liberal Democrat, attacked Chicago teachers’ unions for “holding children hostage.” She’s right. Why doesn’t […]]]>

IYou started in Chicago, where 91% of unionized teachers voted to strike and refused to do what they are paid to do, which is to teach. Then, union walkouts spread to Maryland, New Jersey and California.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Liberal Democrat, attacked Chicago teachers’ unions for “holding children hostage.” She’s right.

Why doesn’t she call for a state of emergency and dissolve the union to save the children of union terrorists? Tear up the contract because the unions violated it? If she did, she would be a hero.

President Joe Biden keeps saying how much he and his fellow Democrats in Washington care about “children.” Uh-huh. He has rightly stated that there is no health reason to close schools. But in this latest episode of union violence against our school-aged children, he does nothing. Perhaps that’s because over 90% of the tens of millions of campaign dollars donated by teachers’ unions go to Democrats.

It’s time for a Ronald Reagan moment. In the first year of his presidency, in 1981, he sacked thousands of illegally striking air traffic controllers. He broke the back of a militant union that endangered public safety by refusing to report to work. The airlines continued to operate, and the havoc the unions were trying to wreak on our national transportation system was averted thanks to Reagan’s bold move.

Let’s be clear: there is no health or safety excuse for teachers and students not to be in the classroom, as the first wave of COVID-19 should have taught us.

The almost indisputable evidence shows that school closures have no positive effect on the spread of COVID-19. Many studies have shown that keeping children at home can increase the spread when out-of-school students and teachers are instead in the community, where infections spread more quickly.

A Journal of Global Health a systematic review of 90 studies found that “opening educational institutions may not predispose children and adolescents to a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults. community than in schools. School attendance can serve as a protective factor, reducing children’s chances of having contact with the community in a relatively isolated environment during school hours.

But children’s emotional and educational progress following school closures can be devastating. McKinsey found that students finished last year of school on average five months behind in math and four months behind in reading.

Another study from Ohio State University found that “districts with full distance education saw a decline of up to three times greater than districts that had in-person instruction for most of the school year “.

The left likes to talk about social justice and income inequality. However, the children most affected by school closures are poor, in the minority, and below average in school performance. For high-performing motivated students, distance learning can work very well. For those who need schools the most, underachieving online learning is fundamentally the same as no schooling.

What to do ? It is time for a national revolt against the evil empire of teachers’ unions that has become the worm in the apple of our education system. How outrageous it is that parents, taxpayers and politicians beg teachers to teach. The fact that more than 9 in 10 Chicago teachers do not want to teach shows us the poor quality of the people we put in front of our children.

What is the solution? First, if the teachers abandon our children, they should be fired and banned from teaching in a public school again – as happened with the illegally striking air traffic controllers.

Second, this is America’s school choice time. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey correctly issued an executive order in his state stating that if a school district closes, he will redirect education dollars directly to parents so they can send their children to private or religious schools or to homes that are open and teach students.

What is clear is that the transfer of political control of our schools to the unions has caused irreparable damage to our children. These are the viruses that affect the health and well-being of our children. But it is also true that if we, citizens and voters, allow this hostage-taking to continue, then we are responsible for the damage. We are to blame if we continue to elect politicians who kneel before militant unions.

We need a heroic Reagan moment to end this tragedy. It stops now.

Free our children.


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School classes canceled in Chicago amid clash between officials and teachers’ unions https://cec-ugc.org/school-classes-canceled-in-chicago-amid-clash-between-officials-and-teachers-unions/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 09:37:00 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/school-classes-canceled-in-chicago-amid-clash-between-officials-and-teachers-unions/ Chicago public school officials canceled classes for Wednesday amid a clash with the teachers’ union, whose members had threatened to stay home in an attempt to force online education during a wave of coronavirus . Union members had criticized the district’s response to the Omicron variant, which has pushed cases in the city to record […]]]>

Chicago public school officials canceled classes for Wednesday amid a clash with the teachers’ union, whose members had threatened to stay home in an attempt to force online education during a wave of coronavirus .

Union members had criticized the district’s response to the Omicron variant, which has pushed cases in the city to record levels, and said the conditions in the classrooms were dangerous.

They voted on Tuesday to refuse to show up in school buildings, just two days after returning from winter vacation.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, however, said the return to online education was unacceptable and unnecessary, and his administration decided to cancel classes altogether – keeping the buildings open for child care. emergency – rather than reverting to virtual education.

“No one signs up to be a home student at the last minute,” Ms. Lightfoot said. “We cannot forget how disruptive this remote process is for parents who have to work, who cannot afford the luxury of staying at home. “

Ms Lightfoot, a Democrat, urged teachers to report for work and suggested they consider an illegal work stoppage. The Chicago Teachers’ Union said Tuesday night that 73% of members who voted were in favor of suspending in-person classes.

Like other school systems, Chicago has faced a shortage of testing and a far from universal vaccination rate among students. There were a large number of staff who called due to illness and general anxiety. Other U.S. districts, including Cleveland, Milwaukee and Atlanta, have also come online temporarily, but without a public labor dispute.

“We are between a rock and a hard place – the rock being the pandemic, the anvil being an intractable and incompetent mayor,” Union vice-president Stacy Davis Gates said this week. “We said a two week break so they could get together, have good communication, put in place the necessary mitigations.”

Coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in Chicago to their highest level since the start of the pandemic. But as in the rest of the country, vaccinated adults had lower hospitalization and death rates, while children of all ages – regardless of their vaccination status – were spared the consequences to a very large extent. serious.

Additionally, data from Chicago and elsewhere shows that school transmission of Covid-19 has been limited, with the majority of cases of teachers and students coming from outside school buildings. More than 90 percent of Chicago public school employees are fully immunized.

Yet members of the powerful Chicago Teachers Union have accused the school district of failing to adapt to Omicron and the growing threat of revolutionary infections. During the holidays, they had requested either a universal PCR test of students and staff, or a two-week transition to distance learning.

Disinformation

Pedro Martinez, district director general, said on Tuesday he would be more aggressive about closing school buildings if large numbers of staff and students were infected with the coronavirus. But he opposed a district-wide shutdown, suggesting misinformation was behind the anxiety over the reopening.

He referred to the district’s investment of $ 100 million (€ 88 million) in improving building ventilation and efforts to monitor air quality in each classroom.

Dr Allison Arwady, the city’s public health commissioner, said she remained “extremely comfortable” with students learning inside schools. “We have to do a risk-benefit analysis here and, at least in children, we have to think of it as similar to the flu. “

But the district’s failed efforts to test tens of thousands of students over the winter break added to the concerns of parents and teachers. Most of the 150,000 PCR tests mailed to students were never returned. Of the approximately 40,000 published tests, the majority gave invalid results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised schools to avoid quarantines and closures by using a protocol known as a test to stay, in which close contacts of positive virus cases perform two rapid antigen tests in one week ; only those who test positive should stay home.

But Chicago officials, like those in many cities and towns across the country, said they don’t have nearly the number of rapid tests they need. Dr Arwady said the city had not received any new deliveries of rapid tests since November, despite pending orders. – This article originally appeared in The New York Times


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Government faces deadlock with teachers’ unions over reopening schools https://cec-ugc.org/government-faces-deadlock-with-teachers-unions-over-reopening-schools/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/government-faces-deadlock-with-teachers-unions-over-reopening-schools/ The government faces a deadlock with teachers ‘unions over reopening schools as the largest secondary teachers’ union calls for a postponement of reopening of schools after the Christmas recess. Unions and school management bodies will meet Minister Norma Foley and officials from the Ministry of Education on Tuesday, before the schools are scheduled to reopen […]]]>

The government faces a deadlock with teachers ‘unions over reopening schools as the largest secondary teachers’ union calls for a postponement of reopening of schools after the Christmas recess.

Unions and school management bodies will meet Minister Norma Foley and officials from the Ministry of Education on Tuesday, before the schools are scheduled to reopen on Thursday after the Christmas holidays.

But the government’s special rapporteur on child protection warned against school closures, saying children had suffered a series of negative effects from last year’s closures.

UCC Professor Conor O’Mahoney said the mental health of many children, especially adolescents, was affected by school closures last year. He also said the impact of the closures was disproportionately felt by the most disadvantaged and at-risk children.

Senior government officials have insisted on reopening schools, but the decision by the secondary teachers’ union will put additional pressure on the coalition, which has always said its priority is to keep schools open and now faces the possibility. an impasse with the unions.

The Secondary Teachers Association in Ireland (ASTI) said last night (Monday) it was “deeply concerned” that schools could reopen without additional measures being put in place to protect students and staff.

“This would constitute an unacceptable risk in the context of the Omicron wave,” the union said.

Confirmed cases in hospital Confirmed cases in ICU
804
93

ASTI has said it will be proposing a phased reopening in which it has said face-to-face teaching with exam years should be given priority.

He also calls for HEPA filtration units to be deployed in schools, adding that he “goes beyond the idea that almost two years after the start of this pandemic, this basic installation is not in place where it is. necessary “.

Michael Gillespie, general secretary of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI), said it was important to recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work.

He said there will be schools where 80 percent of teachers are available to work, and others where only 20 percent will be available.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organization (INTO) believes that it will be necessary to use more student teachers to replace classes in the coming weeks, due to staff members being on leave related to Covid.

Inclusion Ireland, the charity for people with intellectual disabilities, said it remained “optimistic” for the safe return to classrooms this week.

However, the organization called on the minister to recognize the “disproportionate effect” of school closings on children with additional needs, adding that their return to school must be a priority.

Meanwhile, ministers and senior officials expect the omicron wave to peak next week, with intense pressure on hospitals beyond that time.

High-level sources said they believed the increase in infections, although very large, was as expected and that it made no sense that hospitals were pressing the “panic button”.

But it appears members of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) are seriously concerned about the mounting pressure on the healthcare system at a time when the Omicron wave has yet to peak.

Nphet will meet on Thursday to discuss the Covid-19 situation, while the three party leaders will meet this evening (Tuesday) ahead of a Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Sources said one of the goals of Thursday’s Nphet meeting will be to find ways to reduce people’s social contact. There is, however, very strong resistance within the government against any measure aimed at limiting family gatherings, for example.

A sharp increase in the number of patients with the virus in hospitals was reported on Monday with 804 hospitalized, up from 87, including 93 in intensive care, an increase of six. Sources familiar with the situation said they expected the discharge rate to increase in the second half of the week, as senior medics return from the Christmas holidays. The Department of Health has also reported 16,986 other infections, although these figures are “provisional” due to the high incidence of the disease.


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Schools adjust to return of hiatus as COVID-19 cases increase https://cec-ugc.org/schools-adjust-to-return-of-hiatus-as-covid-19-cases-increase/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 13:36:34 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/schools-adjust-to-return-of-hiatus-as-covid-19-cases-increase/ Mask requirements are coming back in some school districts that had abandoned them. Some are planning to dramatically step up virus testing among students and staff. And a small number of school systems are switching to distance learning – for a short time, educators hope. With the surge in coronavirus infections, the return of winter […]]]>

Mask requirements are coming back in some school districts that had abandoned them. Some are planning to dramatically step up virus testing among students and staff. And a small number of school systems are switching to distance learning – for a short time, educators hope.

With the surge in coronavirus infections, the return of winter school vacations will be different than expected for some as administrators again change protocols and make real-time adjustments in response to the evolving pandemic. All point to the need to remain flexible.

“Change has been the only constant in this fight,” Newark school principal Roger León wrote in a notice to parents before the break. He announced Thursday that students will learn remotely for at least the first two weeks of the New Year. The virus, León said, continues “to be a brutal, relentless and ruthless virus that rears its ugly head at inappropriate times.”

Long after widespread closures at the start of the pandemic, school leaders and elected officials say they are using lessons and tools from the past two years to try to navigate the final wave without long-term closures, which has had deplorable effects on student learning and well-being.

Yet pressure from parents and teachers’ unions has added urgency to safety measures as omicron-fueled push sends workloads and places children in hospital in near record numbers. ..

“They say the kids are fine (if they get infected), but who can say my kid won’t be that one,” said Rebecca Caldwell, who plans to ask her district of Charleston, Illinois, for an option at a distance that would allow her to keep her four sons, aged 17, 10, 7 and 5, at home during the winter.

The first half of the school year brought Caldwell’s family three fears of exposure. One, from a family member, kept the whole family in quarantine for 10 days. His 17 and 10-year-old classmates were infected and each endured a grueling series of COVID-19 tests as part of a more recent “test to stay” policy.

“It’s really scary because you worry about the domino effect as well,” said Caldwell, whose own health issues caused her to quit her restaurant job over a year ago to reduce her costs. risks.

In the nation’s largest school system, New York City, 2 million state-provided home testing kits will be used to ramp up testing after the break, officials said this week. Students whose classmates test positive may continue to come to school as long as their home tests are negative and they have no symptoms.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Teachers’ Federation, which represents educators in New York City, questioned whether the new testing initiatives would be available in every school by the time schools reopen on Monday.

“We are getting closer to a safe reopening of the school next week. But we are not there yet, “he said.

In Chicago, the country’s third-largest school district, officials announced the purchase of 100,000 laptops over the holidays in case they are needed for distance learning in January, although district officials said hope to avoid a system-wide shutdown. The Chicago Teachers Union has proposed to suspend in-person learning unless new security measures are introduced, including negative COVID tests for returning students.

To help keep as many students as possible in school, the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona have approved the test to stay in. December as an alternative to the previously recommended 10-day quarantines. Hundreds of schools have adopted stay-testing policies for students who have come in contact with an infected classmate.

“The goal remains to keep all schools open for in-person learning five days a week throughout the 2021-2022 school year and beyond,” Cardona said in a message to schools marking the mid-point. of the school year. He said 99% of schools were open in person in December, up from 46% last January.

Of more than 13,000 school districts nationwide, relatively few have announced plans to start remotely after winter break.

Like Newark, these districts generally plan to resume in-person teaching in a few weeks. They include Cleveland, Ohio; Prince George County, Maryland; Mount Vernon, New York; Taos, New Mexico; Chester County, South Carolina; and several New Jersey school systems.

Citing the city’s high infection rate, Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti on Friday extended the winter vacation of nearly 50,000 students until at least Jan. 5 and urged them to get tested in the district. Tests are mandatory for employees.

Ronald Taylor, superintendent of the South Orange-Maplewood school district in New Jersey, said a spike in cases and subsequent quarantine before the break disrupted operations by forcing consolidation of classes where there were not enough staff. He said the district would be removed the first week back.

“Like many other school districts we have seen a consistent trend, after each of our school vacations, both Thanksgiving and our fall break in early November, there has been a sharp increase in our student / staff population. COVID cases, ”he said. .

Masks will also make a comeback in some districts after the hiatus, including Hopkinton High School, the first public school in Massachusetts to lift the mandate, in October. He was reinstated just before the break.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, where one in four people tested positive for the virus, the school system announced Thursday that all employees, volunteers and visitors will be required to wear face coverings in schools and facilities, and students will be strongly encouraged to go to Porte-Les. State law prevents school districts from imposing mask warrants on students.

Some school systems are preparing to require vaccinations for students, but not anytime soon. In the Los Angeles School District, which was among the first to announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for students, a January 10 deadline for students 12 and older has been extended to fall 2022 . Officials said the earlier date would have excluded about 27,000 unvaccinated students from campuses.

The District of Columbia on December 22 said all students, whether in public, private or charter schools, must be fully immunized by March 1.

Much of the omicron coronavirus variant remains unknown, including whether it causes more or less severe illness. Scientists say omicron spreads even more easily than other strains of coronavirus, including delta, and is expected to become dominant in the United States by early 2022.

In Ohio, where hospitalizations for COVID-19 hit an all-time high this week, the Ohio Hospital Association is asking schools across the state to consider mandatory mask wear as cases continue to rise.

The mosaic of responses also includes plans from Woodbury, New Jersey, to bring students in for half-days during the first week, sending them home with lunch so they don’t have to remove the masks in the building to eat.


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It’s the dawn of a new chapter for New York City https://cec-ugc.org/its-the-dawn-of-a-new-chapter-for-new-york-city/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 01:57:00 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/its-the-dawn-of-a-new-chapter-for-new-york-city/ Good news New York: the new year has finally arrived – and with it, thankfully, a whole new day for the city and state. Think about it: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reign of error is finally over. Arrogant and dictatorial Governor Andrew Cuomo is gone, hopefully forever. Incoming mayor Eric Adams, who takes office on […]]]>

Good news New York: the new year has finally arrived – and with it, thankfully, a whole new day for the city and state.

Think about it: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reign of error is finally over. Arrogant and dictatorial Governor Andrew Cuomo is gone, hopefully forever.

Incoming mayor Eric Adams, who takes office on Saturday, offered encouraging signs on how he will change things and restore the city. Better yet: more than 90 percent of the city’s adults have been vaxxed, and even more are naturally immune after being exposed to the virus.

Finally, there are reasons to hope for New York, but also to worry.

Let’s face it: Gotham has shrunk dramatically over the Blasio-Cuomo years and not, as de Blasio claims, just because of COVID. Violent crime is spiraling out of control. Homeless people, the mentally ill and drug addicts have taken to the streets.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams speaks at a press conference at Queensbridge Homes in Long Island City.
AP / Brittainy Newman

Failed public schools languished for years under de Blasio, even as he squandered millions on consultants and focused on bogus “racial” issues, and as Albany capped the number of successful public charter schools for appeal to teachers’ unions. When COVID hit, schools went from lousy to almost useless as children had to learn through computer screens.

Even the city’s budget is in a worrying state: De Blasio has inflated municipal staff and increased spending to three times inflation – before COVID has hit. Uncle Sam has shipped billions to the city to deal with pandemic aid, taking spending to $ 103 billion this year. But that kind of spending is not sustainable, especially if post-pandemic income is slow to return.

Adams seems to be aware of these issues. He put crime at the top of his agenda, and the reason is clear: The shootings in 2021 overtook those in 2020, which was double the number of the previous year. Murders also surpassed 2020, which was up 44% from 2019.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio kisses First Lady Chirlane McCray outside the mayor's office at City Hall following a walkout ceremony to commemorate her last days in office.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio kisses First Lady Chirlane McCray outside the mayor’s office at City Hall following a walkout ceremony to commemorate her last days in office.
AP / Michael Appleton

Adams, an ex-cop, actually supports police and know what to do: he has championed the “smart” use of arresting, interrogating and searching suspects and plans to reinstate undercover officers who have focused on removing illegal weapons. He opposes the funding of cops and parts of state bailout rules that prevent judges “from exercising the discretion necessary to keep violent individuals in jail.” He criticized the judges for their excessive indulgence. And as for the homeless and the mentally ill, Adams is committed to providing them with the services they need.

All of this is extremely encouraging. Yet changing the Blue York status quo is a monumental lift: Adams, for example, will have to persuade Albany lawmakers, who now include many radical anti-police officers, to correct bail reform laws.

Lawsuit and federal comptroller restrict city’s use of stop-and-frisk. By decriminalizing low-intensity crime, city council has essentially banned police from broken windows, which has been found to be critical in reducing the city’s crime rates.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams greets police officers at homes in Queensbridge in Long Island City.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams greets police officers at homes in Queensbridge in Long Island City.
AP / Brittainy Newman

Additionally, some city attorneys, like Manhattan’s new District Attorney Alvin Bragg, act more like defense attorneys, protecting criminals rather than enforcing the law. If Bragg or another prosecutor refuses to help stop the chaos, the new mayor can push the governor to remove him and / or use his chair as an intimidator to force changes.

To fix the schools, Adams brought in an extremely promising chancellor, David Banks, who is not afraid to admit the dismal failure of the system.

“Any agency that has an annual budget of $ 38 billion” but leaves 65 percent of minority children without academic skills is “outrageous,” he says. “It’s a betrayal.” Banks and Adams hold educators to account. They also want to expand gifted and talented programs, so that children of all races and backgrounds have a chance to benefit.

Then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is preparing to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation on August 10.
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on August 10.
AP / Seth Wenig

The new mayor also appears open to the creation of at least a few more charter schools in the city, an absolute must if students are to have any chance of escaping failing schools. Yet, once again, it is up to Albany to raise the ceiling on the city’s charters, and the teachers’ union is committed to fighting the accountability of its members.

Read more: Adams showed common sense in addressing the business community and signaling the end of the progressive view that corporations are there to be reduced to taxpayer dollars and otherwise looked down upon, used as goats. emissaries and regulated.

“This will be a place where we welcome businesses,” Adams promises. “The government must do its job to create an environment conducive to growth. “

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s last day in office is Friday, December 31.
AP / Wilfredo Lee

If it can help businesses recover from the pandemic and lockdowns and maybe even grow, that would not only help the economy and bring the city’s unemployment rate (9%) closer to that of the country ( 4.2%); it would also bring in more tax revenue to support the budget.

Yet de Blasio’s spending plan leaves billions in deficits for years to come, and any increase in COVID restrictions will only further hurt businesses. Adams will therefore have to put his new anti-waste office to good use to shed the grease.

Gov. Kathy Hochul can also prove problematic, trying to appease far-left progressives as she runs for governor. And progressives, unions and other vested interests will put pressure on their own agendas.

All these challenges would be formidable for any new mayor. Yet Adams represents the best hope the city has seen in years. And even Hochul can still be a force for good. As the sun rises on a shiny new chapter for Gotham, New Yorkers should support both.


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New Years prediction, COVID will fade once it starts hurting Democrats https://cec-ugc.org/new-years-prediction-covid-will-fade-once-it-starts-hurting-democrats/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 22:54:59 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/new-years-prediction-covid-will-fade-once-it-starts-hurting-democrats/ I will only make one prognosis for the new year: COVID will be in the rearview mirror soon, but maybe not right away. But like an old soldier, it will fade. I say this because I am science – political science. The point is, COVID is no longer useful to the Democratic Party. In fact, […]]]>

I will only make one prognosis for the new year:

COVID will be in the rearview mirror soon, but maybe not right away. But like an old soldier, it will fade.

I say this because I am science – political science.

The point is, COVID is no longer useful to the Democratic Party. In fact, it’s going to be a complete drag on their prospects in the 2022 midterm election if they can’t make it go away.

Ipso facto, COVID is preparing to do the Houdini. His only goal was to get rid of Donald Trump. Mission accomplished!

Now it’s just a distraction from soaring inflation, the supply chain crisis, violent crime, border chaos, $ 4-a-gallon gasoline, transgender and all those other things. winning questions that Democrats will proudly campaign on next fall.

As for panic, the only thing left for Democrats to do is declare victory and come out – as Senator George Aiken, the last great senator from Vermont, advised LBJ to do in Vietnam in 1966.

Looking back, that was good advice, wasn’t it?

Dementia Joe Biden remembers George Aiken – they served together in the US Senate, and Aiken was born in 1892. This is how Dementia Joe is ancient.

The problem is, millions of Democrats are bitter tights. They want to cling to this religion of yesteryear. They are Branch Covidians, as they say online. Karen. Zombies.

Teachers’ unions, for example, have become accustomed to these long winter vacations on the islands. For almost everyone in the public sector, judges included, life is so much better when you “work” from home.

But it’s not that great if you have a real job and kids. Look at what happened in Virginia. It wasn’t CRT that killed Terry McAuliffe, it was the closed schools.

But Democratic profiteers and deadbeats cannot abandon the good old days when they were paid for not working, living without rent, no student loans, extra welfare for “families” and a huge increase in food stamps. .

To continue, every day we get a new set of doomsday headlines and grim milestones. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day – the exact same thing is repeated over and over again.

This week, it was reported that CDC “researchers” are now recommending what they call “circuit breakers” for areas with high infections, regardless of the latest variant of panic in Greek letters.

Experts, supposedly, suggest shutting down suspected high-risk activities like indoor meals, non-essential work, etc., etc.

But don’t worry, the closures would be totally temporary and “probably wouldn’t take more than 14 days to meet the stated goal.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Fifteen days to flatten the curve, what do you think?

But they can’t quit the cold turkey. It was the front page headline of the Palm Beach Post yesterday: “As COVID cases rise, Dems blames DeSantis. “

Haven’t they tried all of this before, whether it’s blaming DeSantis or the 15 Days to Flatten the Curve? And beyond getting rid of Trump, none of that ever worked.

Doesn’t the definition of insanity do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?

Don’t tell the New York Times. It was their headline from the front page yesterday: “As Omicron Spreads, Officials Consider What It Means To Be Fully Immunized.”

Wouldn’t it be more productive if authorities wondered why so many fully vaccinated people contract omicron, the anagram of which is “dumb” just like the pandemic anagram is “Dem panic?” “

Who still reads these porn panic stories? And the Democratic media are wondering why their audiences are in freefall.

I was speaking yesterday to someone from the police who was suspended, without pay. He said he and his wife can’t believe his career is destroyed because he won’t get a hit that apparently doesn’t protect any of their friends from a positive test (which, as we all know by now , is very different from getting sick, let alone dying).

He is simply suspended at the moment, not yet fired, so another branch of Governor Charlie Parker’s rancid regime is reluctant to pay him unemployment.

And before even applying for a temp job at, say, Home Depot, he should get a deal from “The Job.” Because if he doesn’t get one, The Job could then fire him for insubordination, and not have to worry about a First Amendment lawsuit down the road for denying him a religious exemption to the jab.

So basically they made this guy, who has a clean record, unemployable until further notice… or until he submits.

Now the rebellion is spreading to the city of Boston, but if you criticize Mayor Michelle Wu’s mandate to vaccinate city workers, you are labeled a) racist, b) misogynist, or c) both.

Ironically, a lot of the people shouting the “R” word are the same crowd that wants to ditch the Boston Latin exams because Asian students do too well. So, for the crime of working hard and being too successful, Asian students must be seen as white, and that is not racist, not when your lofty goal is to destroy Boston Latin.

All COVID all the time is not a winning strategy for anyone except the hawkers. Even Dr. Fauci is reduced to saying “Yeah, but …” As in “Yes, sure, it’s not that bad, but …”

But after 55 years at the watering hole, Fauci won’t go easy on that good night, even with a pension of $ 350,000 a year. The Fauci Follies must therefore continue, even if the public comes out en masse.

Do Democrats think voters want schools closed again so teachers’ endless vacations can resume? Don’t Democrats want elective hospital surgeries because thousands of healthcare workers have been laid off … for what reason?

Where’s George Aiken now that we really need him?


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Zimbabwe: teachers threaten strike action – allAfrica.com https://cec-ugc.org/zimbabwe-teachers-threaten-strike-action-allafrica-com/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 14:17:24 +0000 https://cec-ugc.org/zimbabwe-teachers-threaten-strike-action-allafrica-com/ TEACHERS ‘unions have warned that they will not show up for work when schools open for the first term, unless the government improves their conditions of service. Teachers demand, among other things, salaries in US dollars. Primary and Secondary Education Ministry spokesman Taungana Ndoro told NewsDay on Monday that schools would open on January 10, […]]]>

TEACHERS ‘unions have warned that they will not show up for work when schools open for the first term, unless the government improves their conditions of service.

Teachers demand, among other things, salaries in US dollars.

Primary and Secondary Education Ministry spokesman Taungana Ndoro told NewsDay on Monday that schools would open on January 10, unless there is a change.

Examinations will resume on January 4 for learners who had not finished when schools closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

But teachers’ unions have said they are not ready to return to work until their demands are met.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union President Obert Masaraure said a collaborative approach was needed to restore service delivery to schools.

“Pay teachers’ salaries in US dollars, fully fund basic education as required by article 75 of the constitution …” Masaraure said.

“If the above issues are not addressed, 2022 will be another wasted year for education. The opening of schools on January 10, 2022 is impossible if the government does not play ball.”

Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (Zinatu) president Manuel Nyawo echoed Masaraure’s sentiments, saying the economy has long been dollarized.

“As Zinatu it is important that we demand our January salaries before schools open to allow us to make the necessary preparations before we can return to work and on January pay day we should get the negotiated top up. for January wages, ”Nyawo said.

“This is what will make us survive because without this arrangement in place, teachers will not be able to return to work.”

Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said teachers were too unable to return to work.

“With schools raising fees by over 350% and teacher salaries barely $ 24,000, there is no way teachers can stand up for duty to teach other people’s children when their own children cannot afford to pay the fees in most schools, ”Zhou said.

The government has repeatedly stated that it does not have the capacity to pay teachers in US dollars.


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