Teachers union authorizes strikes if schools reopen without certain security measures

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s second-largest teachers union, said it will support members to go on strike due to unsafe working conditions in schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AFT said the strike should be a “last resort,” but demanded several guarantees before schools were fully reopened.

According to the union, safeguards should include comprehensive tracking of contacts in areas where classes resume, mandatory masking, and updated ventilation systems at the facility, The New York Times reported.

“We will fight on all fronts for the safety of our students and their educators,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said at the union’s annual convention, held online this year due to the pandemic.

Weingarten noted government assistance to the cruise and hedge fund industries during the pandemic, saying that if the federal government could provide such aid, “it sure can help working families and help educators ensure that our children get the education you need. “

The restrictions are not as strict as some activists have asked, such as only reopening schools after 14 days of no new cases in a region, according to the Times.

As the White House has aggressively lobbied for all schools to resume normal operations in the fall, teacher unions have said that hundreds of billions of dollars are needed for the necessary security measures.

The aid package presented by Senate Republicans this week is substantially less than the amount asked by Democrats and union leaders and would provide $ 70 billion to K-12 schools, but on the condition that schools be opened by less partially in the fall.

AFT has said it will drop the decision to attack local chapters, one of which, the Florida Education Association, has already sued the Florida governor. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisCoronavirus hospitalizations among children increase 23 percent in Florida Key to Arizona, Florida, Michigan: MORE surveyThe (R) administration on its plan to completely reopen schools in the state. Hundreds of teachers in the state, where cases are emerging, have reportedly requested living wills.