School Related Professionals
As your constituent and a NYSUT member who cares deeply about public education in our community, I am seeking your support on several legislative issues that affect our school-related professionals.
School-related professionals consist of teacher's aides/monitors, teaching assistants, school nurses, secretaries/clerks, custodians/cleaners, bus drivers/bus attendants, food service workers and security personnel. Each role is instrumental in the successful operation of the school and the general welfare of the students. Therefore, I believe it is important to formally establish protections for these workers so they can continue to provide their valuable services to the school community. To help meet this objective, I ask that you support the following bills/issues:
School Bus Attendants: S.3916 (Kennedy)/A.3871 (Burke) – When students in K-6 travel on a school bus, it is important to have a school bus attendant on-board. Without a school bus attendant, drivers must help students safely enter and exit the school bus, maintain COVID-19 protocols, deal with on-board emergencies and tend to disciplinary issues while also operating the vehicle. School bus drivers must be allowed to focus on safely reaching their destination.
Student Toileting and Diapering Protocols: (legislation pending) – Currently SED and the New York City Department of Education offer only guidelines on student toileting and diapering. New York State currently no has uniform, statewide, clearly defined health and safety protocols for school staff to follow. School staff need clear directives when it comes to toileting and diapering issues, especially amid a global pandemic.
Section 80 Job Protections for School-Related Professionals: S.4899 (Gounardes)/A.4125 (Abbate) – This legislation requires public employers to give preference to employees who have longer terms of service when re-hiring for positions are lost due to a reduction in the workforce.
Section 75 Hearing Officers: S.2891-A (Gounardes)/A.4784-A (Abbate) – This bill protects employees' due process rights and provides fairness throughout the hearing process. Access to a fair trial is the right of every American citizen. Unfortunately, that's not the case for permanent school staff who face disciplinary hearings. In a move that allows employers to serve as both prosecutor and judge, disciplinary hearings for permanent school staff takes place before the body that filed the charges against them. This measure would ensure that all disciplinary proceedings are heard by an impartial arbiter, and that employees receive paid suspensions while awaiting a disciplinary action.
Again, I strongly urge you to support these issues. The work of our school-related professionals is integral within the school environment and they should be afforded the same rights and protections as other educational professionals in our state.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I respectfully ask that you bring up this issue with your conference. I look forward to a reply to my email.
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