SFUSD, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement on Health and Safety Standards for In-Person Learning

SFUSD, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement on Health and Safety Standards for In-Person Learning

Press Release

San Francisco (February 7, 2021) - On the evening of Saturday, February 6 the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and a group of labor unions representing SFUSD employees reached a tentative agreement on the health and safety standards for in-person learning, a critical milestone toward reopening schools. 

Per the tentative agreement, the unions and SFUSD agreed on baseline health and safety standards. This tentative agreement updates the district’s criteria, including new agreements for when it will begin in-person learning. Specifically, the district and labor agreed that students will return when: 

  • San Francisco City and County are in the Red Tier as determined by the California Department of Public Health, and according to California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and all staff reporting to District school or worksites have had the opportunity (eligibility and access) to be vaccinated at the recommended dosage;   or 
  • San Francisco City and County is in the Orange or any lower Tier, as determined by the California Department of Public Health, regardless of the availability of vaccines.

The tentative agreement addresses the health and safety standards necessary for the return of students at all grade levels, preschool through 12, and the parties have agreed to meet and confer on any additional negotiable impacts of the District’s plans for the return of middle and high school students. 

In September, after reaching an agreement regarding distance learning, the District began talks with labor groups by sharing criteria for reopening. These criteria included steps to prepare health and safety protocols as required by public health experts, including the district’s criteria for reopening (the Phase 2A and 2B decision trees). On December 15, SFUSD labor unions shared a new set of health and safety criteria they would like to see the district follow before any return to in-person learning and the groups have been negotiating to come to a shared set of standards. 

SFUSD continues to prepare so that the District can safely resume in-person learning once bargaining is complete and the agreed upon baseline health and safety measures are all in place. The district already submitted applications for the first elementary and early education schools set to reopen and site inspections have been completed at some school sites. 

“I want to thank all of the district employees who have been working for months to get our schools ready so that we can return safely as soon as possible,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “This agreement wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts. I’m looking forward to opening our school doors for more staff to begin preparations to welcome students back.” 

The tentative agreement reached with the group of unions does not address or resolve any negotiable impacts of the District’s plan for Hybrid Instruction. The District continues to meet with the United Educators of San Francisco to complete bargaining on the negotiable impacts of hybrid instruction. 

“Given the constant shift during this pandemic it’s important to do all we can for the health and safety of our students, families, staff and community. I am excited we have found common ground on these baseline standards with our unions, paving the way for our gradual reopening of schools,” said SF Board of Education President Gabriela Lopez. 

SFUSD will schedule the Tentative Agreement for ratification by the Board of Education on Tuesday, February 23.

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