Contract‎ > ‎

Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Covid

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT  

 

This Memorandum of Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made effective as of January 22, 2021 by and between Independent School District No. 625 (the “District”), and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 833 (hereinafter AFSCME or Union). 

 

WHEREAS, There is an extraordinary event; and

 

WHEREAS, the recent outbreak and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted many necessary changes for school districts and employees for the duration of the 2020-2021 school year; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to address the concerns of employees who may be impacted by the pandemic event; and

 

WHEREAS, there is an increased need to ensure the health of all employees and provide services to students and members of the Saint Paul School District Community; and

 

WHEREAS, in doing so has expanded how employees can safely provide the services of the Saint Paul

Public Schools, but not limited to expanded use of telework for employees; and

 

Now therefore be it resolved:                        

 

For Student and Staff Safety

 

Public health guidance and governmental mandates: 

As a means to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and the community, the parties recognize that guidance from the state of Minnesota is essential. For the duration of the pandemic, the district will follow all Executive Orders related to distance learning or school operations and essential childcare operations, workplace safety standards and procedures set forth by Center for Disease Control, MN Department of Health & Human Services and MN Department of Education prior to any return to in-person work for AFSCME bargaining unit members 

In-Person Safety Provisions:  Regular screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and ongoing selfmonitoring throughout the day is an effective prevention strategy to quickly identify signs of illness and help reduce exposure. Staff, students, families and visitors must conduct their own symptom screening prior to coming to work/school, again when arriving at any SPPS facility, and throughout the day. Similar to testing for COVID-19, screening is a snapshot in time of particular risks at that moment.  

Staff with symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home and told to make a report using the online reporting system. Students with symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated in the health office and follow the isolation protocol accordingly. Staff or students known to have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 shall be sent home and quarantined according to MDH guidelines. 

Employees will not be retaliated against by district or coworkers for testing positive for COVID 19 or quarantine status. Employees should complete a Form 415 with the District EEO Officer if they believe retaliation has occurred. 

The District will prioritize assignment of appropriate health personnel to schools with in-person student attendance as determined by the Student Health and Wellness Office. Individuals may be asked to serve as a backup to building health personnel on a volunteer basis.  

SPPS will continue to follow and implement new guidelines as recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Worksites with students present will maintain an isolation room or rooms for students who have Covid19 like symptoms or Covid-19 exposure.  This room or rooms, along with any backup isolation space or waiting area will be located as indirectly from work spaces as building configurations allow.  The isolation rooms will conform to MDH 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools. 

Testing: Saint Paul Public Schools will provide for COVID-19 testing pursuant to executive order 20-82 (12) to any AFSCME bargaining unit employees that complete any work within the buildings of Saint Paul schools with in-person attendance. 

Resources for local testing sites will be shared with employees that are recommended for testing. 

Masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE): 

1.     The District shall require the use of facial coverings (“masks”) in accordance with guidance from the Minnesota Departments of Health and Education and Executive Order 20-81. All staff will be provided with necessary PPE and masks according to guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health. Students will receive masks from SPPS and face shields may be available for those students unable to wear a mask according to the executive order. Staff may choose to wear their own personal PPE above those levels recommended by Minnesota Departments of Health and Education. 

2.     Employees who cannot wear a mask because of a documented health issue shall wear a face shield and provide a medical statement from their healthcare provider indicating an alternate method for providing reasonable protection. 

3.     Staff who may be in close contact with staff or students presenting possible COVID-19 symptoms shall be provided with appropriate PPE as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health including instructions for use and cleaning.

4.     The district will follow MDH guidelines regarding what type of PPE is required. The district shall provide an adequate supply of the advised PPE for all staff assigned to the identified settings. In cases where workers believe additional PPE is needed for safety, the district and the union shall work expediently and collaboratively to respond.  If there is not an agreement by district and union, the district will follow MDH guidelines regarding what type of PPE is required. 

5.     Guidelines for use, reuse and correct donning and doffing of PPE will be provided prior to inperson support.  

 

Handwashing and sanitization:

The District shall follow with the following hand washing logistical requirements:

1.     Every classroom shall be provided unscented hand sanitizer;

2.     Non-classroom workspaces shall be provided unscented hand sanitizer;

3.     Unscented hand sanitizer or portable hand washing stations shall be provided at primary ingress and egress points;

4.     The District shall have sufficient hand washing / sanitization supplies on hand to support daily needs, including disposable paper towels and custodial staff shall monitor common area resources at prudent intervals throughout the day. 

Students, employees, and visitors shall be encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering district sites and during transition times.  

Social distancing and work, childcare, and learning space:

1.     Signage will be posted as necessary to direct traffic in buildings. Employees are encouraged to discuss concerns about signage with their supervisor. 

2.     All assigned staff workspaces will allow for 6 feet of distance with any other person in the space. 

3.     The District shall continue to follow its protocols for admittance of external visitors to buildings until such guidance is provided by MDH or Governors Executive order relaxing guidelines for external visitors.  

 

Daily cleaning and disinfecting for spaces being used for work, childcare, or instruction:

1. The District shall ensure that occupied classrooms, restrooms, and workspaces are cleaned and disinfected daily, including but not limited to desks, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, and other high touch fixtures, using an appropriate disinfectant as determined by the Center for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

 

Work Assignments

 

1.     Visits and travel to student homes to provide services or deliveries shall be strictly voluntary unless the delivery of items to homes is part of the normal work assignment of an employee. 

 

2.     Employees who are required to quarantine by a medical professional may choose to work remotely when their job enables remote work or choose not to work and utilize their quarantine benefit language. Employees whose work does not provide the opportunity to work remotely will utilize their contractual quarantine benefit of up to ten days of benefit. Employees whose work does not provide the opportunity to work remotely may use benefits as defined within the collective bargaining agreement. Employees who are not feeling physical illness impacts of COVID-19 and whose work enables them to work remotely are encouraged to continue working remotely when possible in an effort to effectively manage benefits. Employees should work in collaboration with their administrator or supervisor in determining the ability to work remotely while in quarantine. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

1.     Nothing in this memorandum of agreement herein modifies the employer’s or employees’ rights in the respective articles for sick leave, vacation, compensatory leave, personal leave or any other article not expressly modified within this memorandum of agreement. 

2.     The District agrees to continue to follow the collective bargaining agreement language for members of the bargaining unit.

3.     Either party may request a meet and confer relative to the items listed herein.

4.     No modifications of any provisions of this Agreement shall be valid unless in writing signed by the parties. 

5.     Nothing herein shall be deemed precedent setting for either party.

6.     This agreement shall be in place from the date of approval by the School Board and shall remain in place for the duration of the 2020-2021 school year. 

7.     The parties agree that this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters contained herein.

 

_______ ________________                                          

St. Paul Public Schools                                      Union Representative

 

 

_ ____________________                                             _________________________

Date                                                                             Date