Daytona Beach, FL - With just days to go until the first day back to school, the county's teachers union, Volusia United Educators, declares an impasse after weeks of negotiations with the Volusia County School Board hit a supposed stalemate.
In a release sent out on Tuesday (August 25th), VUE said the impasse was declared after negotiations stalled regarding the school board's "unsafe opening plan."
"The VCS proposed plan threatens the health and lives of the over 3800 educators represented by VUE, their students, their families, and the community at large," stated the release. "Teachers want to begin the 2020-21 academic year more than anyone. However, we must reconvene in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety for all."
The release further claims that "thousands of teachers" are being "forced" by Volusia County Schools to engage in face-to-face instruction while not adhering to the guidance of health experts across the state and the nation.
However, the school district has provided a list of different protocols and stipulations that will be put into place for students that return to brick and mortar schools on August 31st.
Some of those protocols deal with situations such as if a student tests positive for COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms of the virus. In that scenario, multiple options exist but they are all relatively the same.
Any students that has been exposed to COVID-19 or exhibits symptoms will be isolated as any other students or staff that have been in contact with the sick student are removed while areas are sanitized.
In order to come back, a student must test negative after they have shown no symptoms following a 14-day quarantine.
In addition to the extra protocols, face coverings will be mandatory. But, even that is up for debate with the union as they claim in their release that the district is "walking back" of their mandatory face coverings policy.
"...there is no time to allow the District to continue to stall at the bargaining table," said the union, regarding the looming deadline of Monday's return to school. "The Union was left with no choice but to declare impasse to get these serious disputes resolved before it’s too late."
News Daytona Beach has emailed the school board for a comment on the union's declaration. They have yet to respond.
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