In a public health crisis, it is health care workers who are asked to step up and serve for the greater good of our communities.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered all essential health care professionals to work during the coronavirus outbreak. While private sector nurses are reporting to work at hospitals and clinics across the city, school nurses have been ordered to work in the Department of Education’s new regional enrichment centers.
These centers, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, will offer a safe place for the school-aged children of first responders, health care workers and transit workers so they can serve their city in this time of need. School nurses, supplied with proper protective gear and medical equipment, will be part of the staff for these centers. Four nurses at each center will work the morning shift from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and three nurses will work the afternoon shift from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
As a health care worker, you have the choice, if needed, to bring your school-aged child to the center when you are working.
Some of you have expressed concern to me about carrying out this assignment. If we could, we would allow you to work remotely as the DOE originally planned, but the mayor has issued this emergency order. We, as your union, will do everything in our power to make sure you have the tools and supplies you need to perform your duties and stay safe and healthy. Please call the UFT at 212-331-6311 to report any workplace issues you encounter at the centers, and we will promptly assist you.
Please see the coronavirus information hub on the UFT website for the latest information.
This is new territory for all of us, but we will get through it together with the support of each other. Thank you for everything you do.