Teachers at Hunter College Campus Schools warn they may still strike over COVID-19

Teachers at Hunter College Campus Schools warn they may still strike over COVID-19

10/18/2020

The teachers union for Hunter College Campus Schools said Sunday it may still strike over COVID-19 concerns.

“The Hunter Campus administration has said the school will open [Monday]. And I, the teachers are talking with each other, meeting and will continue to figure out what’s best to do individually and collectively,’’ said Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen on a conference call with reporters, teachers and parents.

“At this point, we are not threatening a strike tomorrow,’’ she said. “However, if these things are not addressed, we will have to go back to that strike-authorization vote’’ from September.

Hunter College Campus consists of an elementary and a high school, both of which are on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, publicly funded, overseen by the City University of New York and run by Hunter College for its teachers-in-training, according to its Web site.

“The faculty at Hunter Campus schools, the teachers, knew all along this summer that the provisions that Hunter was making to keep children separate to prevent infection were not sufficient,” Bowen said.

“Over and over again, we met with them and called for the correct measures, and over and over again, they turned us down,’’ she said.

The union chief noted that there were four cases of the coronavirus in two kindergarten classes, including two teachers, at the elementary school within the first two and a half weeks.

She said the lack of greater testing at the school should be immediately addressed.

“All of us have concerns about having better PPE,’’ too, Bowen added. “There’s obviously better equipment that is needed here because what was in place is not working.

“The practice of allowing that accommodation for people to work remotely has not been as vigorous, as well, directed as it should be. We would like to see the Hunter Campus administration advocate much more vigorously.”

“The administration is saying we’ll open Monday. The union leadership and the faculty leadership at Hunter Campus schools thinks that’s a very, very bad and potentially dangerous mistake. And so, we hope that we don’t have to take more dramatic action.”

Campus math educator Tina Moore, said, “Our teachers are scared, they’re nervous.

“We feel that the safety protocols that the school has put in place did not work and did not keep our students safe.”

CUNY officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

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