Personnel & Labor
SFUSD is working with labor partners to prepare for a safe return to in-person learning. This work includes:
- Exchanging proposals with our labor partners.
- Negotiating and agreeing to terms for safety, distance, and hybrid learning models.
- Verifying and monitoring execution of existing MOU agreements.
Personnel & Labor
SFUSD has 16 bargaining units representing over 96% of the District’s employees. As the District develops plans for all students to return to in-person learning, we are meeting with our labor partners to discuss how these plans affect personnel policies, practices, or working conditions for our employees. We have been at the bargaining table for the past several months to discuss each phase of the return to in-person learning as it is developed. We must complete these negotiations before returning students to the classroom.
Memorandum of Understanding Between SFUSD and UESF - Secondary Students Focal Populations Return to In-Person Instruction Tentative Agreement
Memorandum of Understanding Between SFUSD and UESF - In-Person/Hybrid Distance Learning
Memorandum of Understanding Between SFUSD and All SFUSD Unions - Health and Safety Standards
On February 23, 2021, the San Francisco Board of Education unanimously ratified a Memorandum of Understanding between the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and a group of labor unions representing SFUSD employees on the baseline health and safety standards for in-person learning.
The agreement between SFUSD and its labor partners sets terms for health and safety standards “intended to ensure the safe reopening of in-person learning and working at SFUSD school and worksites.”
Per the agreement on health and safety standards for in-person learning between SFUSD and its labor partners, if San Francisco is in the red tier then staff who will be teaching in person must have the opportunity to be vaccinated at the recommended dosage to return students. If San Francisco is in the orange tier, staff will not need the opportunity to be vaccinated to return students to in-person learning.
Additional health and safety standards in the agreement include COVID-19 hygiene practices as well as:
- Health screening will continue: All persons will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure before they are allowed to enter school grounds and District facilities. Screening will include a visual wellness check and a health screening form.
- Protocols for monitoring symptoms and positive cases: Any student or staff who goes home with or reports COVID-19 like symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19, or has been identified as a close contact will be documented in the COVID-19 Confidential Illness Log to monitor students and staff who are home on isolation or quarantine.
- Cleaning and sanitization protocols: On a daily basis, protocols include to sweep and spot mop floors, empty trash, clean high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, clean interior garbage cans, clean and disinfect restrooms. On a weekly basis, protocols include wet mop all stairs, hallways, and classrooms, clean interior windows, vacuum carpets, disinfect classrooms. On an as needed basis, following a positive case of COVID-19 among staff, the District will clean and disinfect all surfaces in the staff member’s assigned room, restroom and corridors.
Bargaining Update - February 22, 2021
The District’s bargaining team met at 8:30 am on Monday, February 22, 2021 to review and respond to a proposal received from United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) on Sunday, February 21, at approximately 8:24 am. The District had offered to meet with UESF on the 22nd to continue meeting and conferring on the District’s instructional schedule, but UESF declined.
Shortly after 1:00 pm, the District sent UESF a list of questions regarding their February 21 proposed instructional schedule.
UESF’s most recent proposal contains three distinct models for hybrid instruction. Like the District’s proposal, any return to in-person learning will require a combination of schedules depending on each school site’s unique facility constraints and parent choice.
In an effort to facilitate discussions and expedite agreement, the District has shared with UESF its assessment of the following positives and challenges with each of UESF’s proposed schedules as well as a compare and contrast with the District’s instructional schedule.
The parties have agreed to further meet and confer on the instructional schedule tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.
*These are the schedules proposed by UESF, not SFUSD
Bargaining Update - February 20, 2021
The District’s bargaining team resumed its work on Saturday morning. At approximately noon, the District provided a counter proposal to United Educators of San Francisco (UESF).
The District offered to meet and confer on its instructional schedule, which offers at least 2 full days of instruction to some students and as much as 5 days of instruction for other students. The number of full school days will vary depending upon the number of students who request to return to in-person learning at each school site.
After approximately 3 and ½ hours, at 3:30 pm, UESF asked several questions and the District provided full responses by 4:45 pm. The District’s team requested that UESF provide its counter offer by 6:30.
Despite repeated requests that UESF provide an estimated time when the District team could expect a counteroffer, UESF declined to provide an estimate and stated only that it would provide a counter offer Saturday night.
After waiting more than seven hours for a counter offer, the District team concluded bargaining and informed UESF that we are holding Monday to resume discussions
Bargaining Update - February 19, 2021
Bargaining teams for the District and United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) convened Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week to meet and confer over the District’s proposed instructional schedule for the remainder of the school year and once schools reopen for in-person instruction.
The District is committed to reopening as many schools as possible for in-person instruction as soon as all the necessary and agreed upon conditions are met, including vaccines for staff, moving out of the purple tier and having the infrastructure for staff and student surveillance testing. To re-open, the District must complete its obligation to consult with UESF regarding the instructional schedule.
For the past four days, the District has met with UESF and brainstormed multiple options regarding instructional schedules for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
Physical distancing requirements prevent the District from providing five full days of instruction each week for every child at every elementary school, but the District’s unwavering priority is to provide all students who wish to attend in-person instruction with as many days per week and as many hours per day of instruction as possible while also adhering to physical distancing requirements.
Proposed schedules that include only three hours of in-person instruction per day do not meet the District’s goal.
The District’s team informed UESF that the District remains open to addressing concerns raised by UESF regarding the District’s proposed instructional schedules, including the size of distance classes, lunch supervisions, and the desire to keep students with their current teachers as much as possible.
On Friday, after four full days of bargaining, often working late into the night, the District informed UESF’s bargaining team that the District will recess the day’s bargaining.
The District’s team is ready to resume bargaining Saturday morning, February 20.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - February 9, 2021
Bargaining Update - February 1, 2021
On February 1, 2021, District labor negotiators met with representatives from United Educators of San Francisco to discuss the District’s proposed criteria and resulting timelines for initiating Phase 2A of the plan to return to in person learning. The District proposed a sequence of scenarios and criteria for returning to in person learning within each scenario.
District negotiators emphasized two key objectives with the proposed hybrid learning schedule:
- Returning to in person learning with as close to normal a school day as possible given the circumstances of the pandemic; and
- Implementing a high quality hybrid learning experience within the constraints required by the District and school site COVID-19 Safety Plan.
United Educators of San Francisco asked several questions about the proposal and agreed to return to the bargaining table later this week to present their counter-proposal.
Bargaining Update - January 29, 2021
On January 29, 2021, District labor negotiators met with representatives from all the unions in SFUSD to continue discussions regarding health and safety conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
District labor negotiators shared that work is continuing to make schools as safe as possible for the return of all staff and as many students as possible. In recent weeks, this work has intensified and focused on meeting the new consolidated state standards and guidelines released by the Governor’s Office on January 14. District labor negotiators and union representatives reviewed the new guidelines and standards in an effort to reach a common understanding of the recommendations and requirements established by our state and local public health experts.
The District’s health and safety planning is relying on public health expert guidance, grounded in science and data, including but not limited to the following ways:
Preparing to implement bi-weekly asymptomatic testing for both students and staff when operating schools in purple or red tiers and sample testing for students and staff when operating in orange and yellow
Assessing ventilation at our sites including:
Inspecting all HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working condition;
Changing all filters older than 6 months and upgrading them where possible to MERV 8, residential grade
Where mechanically feasible and beneficial to room occupants, we are installing MERV 13 (hospital grade) filters
Identifying classrooms and offices without functioning operable windows to close them and exclude them from use by more than one person
District negotiators also emphasized that we are not conducting our health and safety planning in a vacuum but are working with local health experts at each step to reopen for in-person learning:
Step 1 - is to submit a Letter of Intent to reopen for in-person learning to our Department of Public Health
Step 2 - engage in a Partnership Protocol with our site leaders and staff which includes a physical walk-through of the site, a review of classroom layouts, ingress and egress at the site and student schedules and movements throughout the school day
Step 3 - submit an application for each school that will reopen to our Department of Public Health that documents our site-specific health and safety standards
Step 4 - the Department of Public Health reviews the application
Step 5 - the Department of Public Health then conducts an on-site review of the 13 key areas that are included and documented in each school’s COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist
Only after all of these steps have been taken and the Department of Public Health approves the application for a specific school, will a school reopen for in-person learning.
District negotiators asked that union representatives identify any impacts on working conditions that they wished to discuss and union representatives agreed to meet the week of February 1 to share a proposal.