Oakland Instructors Name for Prolonged Testing and Improved Air flow Beneath Security Necessities – CBS San Francisco

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Oakland teachers are putting pressure on district leaders to hand out COVID-19 aids on new safety protocols and equipment before the colder winter months.

On Wednesday, more than 100 Oakland Education Association members and supporters demonstrated before a special meeting of the Oakland Unified School Board outside La Escuelita Elementary School to hear the OEA’s proposal, “Students Deserve Safe Schools.”

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The proposal calls on the district to:
• Expansion of rapid COVID-19 testing from regional centers to all campuses in the district
• Improvement of the indoor air quality with “HEPA air washers”
• Buy 750 sunroofs and tables to expand outdoor seating
• Develop an incentive program to hire more substitute teachers
• Develop protocols for smoking days
• Extend the expiration date of the COVID vacation from October 31 to the end of the school year

“How are you? We still have needs that need to be met,” said Megan Bumpus, co-chair of the Oakland Education Association’s security negotiation team.

When colder temperatures and rain arrive, the students are driven inside and eat together in the cafeteria with little to no social distancing, says Bumpus.

A video captured in the Rudsdale High School cafeteria in Oakland shows multiple fans pointing up to encourage blood flow, with a relatively small HEPA filter nearby. A photo in the REACH Academy’s cafeteria and multipurpose room shows a large fan positioned by the door to force air out of the room.

Bumpus says three professional HEPA filters can be purchased for $ 112,500 for each of the county’s 75 canteens that currently do not have adequate filtration systems.

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“That’s a very low price to pay to ensure that our students can eat unmasked in the cafeteria in the cold, rain or during the smoking season,” said Bumpus.

As for the shade canopies and outdoor tables, the proposal calls for a district-wide purchase of 750 pieces per item, which would cost $ 1,110,000.

The union said elements of the proposal can be paid for using COVID aids. The district received a total of $ 283 million, and $ 100 million has not yet been spent.

“There is still $ 100 million earmarked, but the spending has not yet been approved. Let’s spend that on safety. Let’s get more nurses in our classrooms, let’s make sure there are enough replacement teachers, let’s make sure there are HEPA filters. There are many things that can be done, ”said Sarah Goudy, co-chair of the Oakland Education Association’s security negotiation team.

Oakland Unified School District spokesman John Sasaki said the district is open to new ideas and solutions but needs to weigh the need to continue with ongoing security programs.

“While this money is not being spent, this money is supposed to cover the next two years. This money should last us until September 2024, ”said Sasaki. “We always try to find economic ways in particular, but generally only ways to defeat this pandemic so that we can all get away from it. And everything that helps us on our school premises is checked very carefully by our employees. If something really groundbreaking comes out that we really need, we could certainly use some of those resources. “

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As for the next steps, if the board decides to take some of the union’s proposals forward, it can bring Superintendent Dr. Instruct Kyla Johnson-Trammell to begin negotiations between the bargaining parties for both parties.

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