Delay CUNY reopening
Delay CUNY reopening
Dear Chancellor Matos-Rodríguez, Vice-Chancellor Batista and Presidents De Filippis, Eanes, Hotzler, Johnson, Mangino, Mason, Raab, Ramsey, Schrader, Adams, Fritz, Garrell, Isekenegbe, Munroe and Wu,
We are outraged by CUNY’s patchwork approach to ensuring student, staff and faculty safety across the majority of CUNY’s campuses and insulted by the Chancellor’s masking “plan”, which seems unaware of current CDC guidance that pertains to our colleges and our boroughs, which are in the midst of a growing COVID surge and entirely in the category of “high” community COVID transmission. Moreover, campuses must complete their health and safety walkthroughs with the union as well as all repairs and remediation required.
We are therefore demanding the following:
Recalibrate the pre-semester reopening plan, as Lehman College and Queens College have just done, until CUNY can get its act together. Until September 14, only those staff who are genuinely critical to regular operations should be asked to report to in-person work. Others should be permitted to continue working remotely.
Permit the conversion of in-person classes to remote through September 14, the deadline for in-person students to upload their proof of vaccination.
Make the mask mandate universal in compliance with CDC guidance for indoor mask-wearing for the fully vaccinated in areas with substantial or high COVID transmission. In every borough, the rate of community transmission is “high,” beyond the point at which the CDC recommends universal indoor masking. Several CUNY colleges have eliminated the exception and imposed a CDC-compliant mask mandate; until CUNY Central takes the leadership it should take, all campuses should follow suit.
Follow the CDC guidance for Institutions of Higher Education where not everyone is fully vaccinated and observe six feet of physical distancing. During periods of high community spread, minimizing density in all spaces on our campuses is key.
The least we should be able to count on is a rational, informed approach to reopening in compliance with the best available guidance and science. The current state of CUNY’s affairs is unacceptable and we will not stand for this level of disregard for safety and our fellow workers.
We are counting on all of you to do the right thing.