HGEA Demands Consultation & Negotiations Regarding Reopening of Schools for 2020-2021 School Year
June 05, 2020
This week marks the end of the school year for our 10-month DOE employees. Mahalo for your hard work as front line employees during the pandemic and the past school year.
In our standing weekly meeting with DOE leadership on Tuesday, we informed them that there was a lot of confusion stemming from the Superintendent’s memo dated May 26, 2020 returning employees to the workplace starting June 1. We continued to inquire about plans for reopening schools and the urgency to finalize the plans for next school year.
The DOE claimed principals worked with their CASs on reopening plans that DOE's statewide leadership would be reviewing in the coming weeks. However, less than 24 hours later, the DOE released a one-page flyer “Guidance for Reopening Schools” to the media, which most of us learned about watching the morning news. This one-page reopening schools guideline was not provided to or consulted on with HGEA, and caused even more confusion and upset among affected employees.
In addition, the Board of Education members, the unions, and the affected employees were understandably upset that information regarding distance learning was already being shared with the media and parents before they were informed. In the BOE meeting yesterday, several Board members called these actions by the Superintendent misleading.
Yesterday, HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira sent a letter to Superintendent Christina Kishimoto formally demanding that the DOE consult and negotiate regarding the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Today, HGEA submitted testimony on your behalf to support the Board of Education in their efforts to provide guidance and expectations to the DOE for the reopening of schools.
Please pay attention to your eBulletins during the summer months as we continue to gathering feedback and provide updates on the DOE’s plans to reopen schools and offices.
A survey will be sent out next week to help us collect COVID-19 related questions and concerns from DOE employees. HGEA will continue to advocate for you and press the employer for answers and solutions.