MTA President Merrie Najimy and Vice President Max Page respond to Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy's claim that UMass Amherst is suffering...
The following statement was issued today by MTA President Merrie Najimy:
The well-being of students, educators and families is the top priority of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and all of our members as we work together to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The MTA continues to monitor the recommendations concerning the coronavirus from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state Department of Public Health, and other agencies. Based on information from public health officials, the MTA has canceled or postponed conferences and events that would have brought together educators from multiple districts.
Our continuing discussions with public health and education officials indicate that it is important to remember that:
- Determinations about an individual’s risk to others must be made by medical personnel. Not all respiratory symptoms are a result of COVID-19, and people must be properly diagnosed before the appropriate course of action is determined.
- In anticipation of school closings or other changes to the academic calendar, administrators must not accelerate standardized testing schedules.
- School committees or higher education administrations that decide to formulate local plans for addressing COVID-19 need to include the unions representing educators and other staff.
Our public schools and colleges need to be taking the necessary steps to ensure that the virus does not spread. Those responsible for keeping buildings clean must have the supplies and other resources required to safely do their jobs. The nurses and other providers who work in our public schools and on our college campuses must be properly equipped and trained to assist those seeking care — and they must have adequate protections.
Above all, we must continue to work together to protect the health of our students and our communities.