Register online for upcoming student-debt webinars. By popular demand, the union has scheduled more FREE webinars in the NYSUT Student Loan Debt program. In partnership with the non-profit group Cambridge Credit Counseling, the program has provided guidance and support to thousands of union members trying to understand and manage their student loans.
Governor Cuomo’s Covid-19 Winter Plan and Revised Department of Health Guidance
In New York State’s continued effort to eliminate COVID-19, Governor Cuomo issued a Winter Plan that details five strategies designed to systematically reduce its spread, in anticipation of a spike due to holiday gatherings. Strategy number three is related to schools with a focus on keeping k-8 and special education schools open. As part of this, the Governor announced that schools in the orange zone must test 20% of in-person students and staff and schools in the red zones must test 30% of students and staff over the course of a month. Governor Cuomo also stated that the state may adjust requirements for specific districts based on special circumstances.
Early this evening, the New York State Department of Health issued revised guidance to schools located in red or orange zones. The memo states that schools have reported nearly 500,000 test results of students, faculty, and staff since September with approximately 13,000 on-site positive cases, yielding a low positivity rate of 2.6%.
The full guidance can be found using the link below. Some of the most notable changes are:
• As stated in the press conference on Monday:
-- Orange zone schools conduct testing of 20% of in-person students, faculty and staff over the one-month period following designation. Testing is to be spread out over the month with 10% tested bi-weekly.
-- Red zone schools conduct testing of 30% of in-person students, faculty and staff over the one-month period following designation. Testing is to be spread out over the month with 15% tested bi-weekly.
• While the schools are not required to close, the guidance states “that if the random sampling generates 9 or more positive cases in any school, or if for a sample size of more than 300 weekly tests, achieves a positivity rate of 2% or higher (6 cases or more depending on sample size) in New York City, or 3% (9 or more cases depending on sample size) outside of New York City, of one such discrete sample, then the school will be required to close.”
• Schools must ensure that face coverings are worn by students, faculty and staff.
• Testing requirements apply to children attending programs 9supporting hybrid or virtual learning) operated by the Office of Children and Family Services located in the school.
• Guidance clarifies that schools may conduct pool testing and accept COVID-19 test results from health care providers.
NYS DOH Guidance Memo:
Please Note the following on P.2 of link above:
For Schools Located in a Geographic Area Designated as a Red or Orange Zone There is no longer a requirement for schools located in red or orange zones to close in-person instruction. Schools in these zones may remain open for in-person instruction, subject to strict adherence to this guidance and any directives issued by DOH.
Here is a link to the Governor’s press release on the Winter Plan:
Governor Cuomo Announces Winter Plan to Combat COVID-19 Surge in New York State | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (ny.gov)
The BOCES masks have arrived. If you ordered a mask you can expect to receive it in the next few days.
Your masks will be delivered in a ziploc bag with the name of your building rep and the amount that you owe.
Please be sure to give your payment to your rep (either in cash or by check payable to the BTA) by Friday October 9th.
There are a limited number of masks remaining on a first come first served basis. If you would like to order one, please email Stacey DIPaola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are losing their trusted educators, and programs are being slashed. It is time for the state to fund our future and stop 20 percent cuts to education aid that have already led to cuts and layoffs in districts across the state. We cannot wait.
COVID-19 is taking a devastating toll on New York, our people, and public schools, colleges, and local governments across the state, and we need more resources now! With absolutely no help coming from Washington, it's up to state lawmakers to take decisive action!
State lawmakers must do two things immediately to avoid further devastating cuts to education and other critical public services.
1) The state must access the nearly $7 billion dollars in reserves and rainy day funds that have been set aside for exactly this kind of crisis. We are facing a fiscal emergency brought on by a global health crisis: If we aren't going to use these funds now, what on earth are they for?
2) Lawmakers must ask the very richest New Yorkers to pay their fair share by enacting two revenue enhancers: a progressive income tax for those with incomes over $5 million and a pied-à-terre tax on luxury second homes in New York City.
Together, these very popular, very fair revenue enhancers—along with the reserve / rainy day funds—would provide billions of dollars to help confront this crisis and ensure that we can continue to provide the public education, health care and other services that will be needed to rebuild our state.
Take action now at the NYSUT Member Action Center to tell lawmakers to take decisive action to avoid further cuts to education and other critical public services!
The state of New York is in a crisis, and it will require bold action to get us back on solid footing.
If not now, when?
P.S. Tell lawmakers to release the state's reserve / rainy day funds and enact popular revenue enhancers to address the fiscal crisis facing New York!
NYSUT Member Benefits:
Considering applying for Catastrophe Major Medical (CMM) Insurance during open enrollment. But not sure? Need more information? Attend a CMM virtual overview session hosted by NYSUT Member Benefits Coordinator, Michelle Kennedy. Eligibility for CMM open enrollment: in-service dues-paying member, live in state of NY and have basic health plan. If you do not meet those eligibility requirements you cannot enroll in CMM. Current CMM participants during open enrollment this is an opportunity to add dependents.
-Tuesday, September 15 @ 4pm
-Tuesday, September 22 @4pm
Registration link: https://my.demio.com/ref/VLd2hi6e8whv8bPr
Virtual sessions limited to 250 attendees, and CMM open enrollment from September 1 thru September 30 , 2020 with effective date January 1, 2021.
If you cannot attend a virtual session but would like to apply online please visit: https://www.nysutmbteinsurance.com/health-insurance/major-medical/catastrophe-major-medical.html or call Mercer Consumer: (888) 386-9788 and for more information about CMM, including premium rate chart (see page 4): https://ebview.com/pdfgenerator/ViewPdf/NYSUT/CMM/Vol_CMM_Plan_Highlights-July_2020.pdf