Rutgers AAUP-AFT stands in solidarity with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers as you resist a return to school buildings that would put the health of teachers, staff, students, their families, and ultimately the whole city at risk.
The School District of Philadelphia’s claim to have made buildings safe for a return to hybrid instruction is a cruel hoax. The caliber of its “preparations” can be judged by the absurd assertion that the installation of 3,000 fans in classroom windows will provide “enough fresh air flow to support 18 people in the room before applying social distancing requirements.” Fortunately, management doesn’t teach the science classes in Philadelphia public schools.
At Rutgers University, we also have to contend with an administration that does not put the interests of students, staff, or faculty first. We are currently organizing against a work schedule in the university libraries that unnecessarily requires all staff to be on-site five days a week.
Like the Chicago Teachers Union, you are showing that our unions have the power to confront reckless policies and twisted priorities on behalf of the whole of society. Your stand against an unsafe reopening will inspire us and others to greater and more effective efforts. Our members who live in Philadelphia will be there to support you if you call for it, and our whole union stands with you in fighting for a safe school reopening that protects students, staff, teachers, and the community.