Teachers Union Memo

Hello EM/E Members-
EM/E All-Member Meeting
Please join me and your other EM/E colleagues in a virtual meeting this coming Sunday,
November 8, 2020. Agenda information will be shared just prior. Meeting information is below:
Join Zoom Meeting

COVID-19 and Learning Models
The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Hennepin County for 10/11 to 10/24 is

34.25. While we knew this number would be over 30 by now it jumped quite a bit higher than expected and we are seeing reports of record-breaking number of cases across thestate and in Hennepin County. Additionally, Hennepin County reported a case rate of 32.5 per 10,000 residents in Edina for the period from 10/13-10/26. (Last week’s report had the City of Edina at 23.5). The most recent communication from the district has made it clear that there is not yet a commitment to changing learning models at any level even though the COVID-19 case levels continue to grow at an alarming rate. At the same time and because of the Minnesota Department of Health exclusion criteria we are also experiencing staffing challenges especially with our Licensed School Nurses, Health Associates and Custodians. These challenges make our situation even more precarious as these are the staff who are the first line of defense in our mitigation efforts. Our position has not changed from last week: We believe the district needs to make a decision immediately to go distance learning at the secondary level and strongly consider doing the same at the Pre-K and Elementary levels. Now, more than ever, we need to raise our voices and work together to support each other and the most effective way to do so is through a multi-pronged approach that includes individual and group action.

Should you choose to take action, you can choose to act individually or as a group or site and should consider multiple options. Write a letter to the superintendent and school board (Expect to hear more from your building reps about site-based group letters) Request a paid leave or an accommodation.

Request to work from home during the interactive process

Notify your supervisor that you will be “Working To Rule” meaning that you
will only be completing your work during your duty day and indicate this on
your Automatic or Out of Office Reply

Send your supervisor a message requesting to work from home

Notify your supervisor that you will be working from home (Please Note: If your
supervisor demands that you show up in person and you refuse, you may receive
some form of a reprimand. Talk to me before you choose this option.)
Remember that the more we can take these actions TOGETHER the more impact we
can have. We’ve scheduled an EM/E Governance Board meeting for this afternoon to talk about how to execute on these plans.
Leave Information
Though the deadline for a long-term leave of absence is February 1st, there does exist the possibility of a Superintendent’s Discretionary Leave. This would be a short-term leave that would allow a teacher to take either a reduced workload (while still protecting your FTE) for all or some portion of the school year off. Please see the link below for the online request form and remember that there is no deadline for any of these leaves. If, at any time, you feel you need to request a leave you have the right to do so.

EPS Employee Forms Page
EPS Leave of Absence Online Request Form
Pregnancy and Parental Leave FMLA
Education Minnesota FAQ: Expansion of Paid Sick and Childcare Leave
District Contact Person for Leave Options
Ellen Bowden
Benefits and Compensation Specialist
ellen.bowden@edinaschools.org 952-
Nicole Tuescher 952-848-

EM/E Leave Chart
Governor Walz’s Executive Order on 11/4/2020
Yesterday, Governor Walz issued an executive order that brought further guidance to
schools and educators. Here are some excerpts
“Teachers are stretched too thin. We must relieve pressures on schools and educators to
allow for capacity and resources to focus on students’ learning needs. Districts and charter
schools should implement teaching and learning environments that do not require teachers
to provide instruction simultaneously to students who are in person and those that are
learning remotely.”(page 3)
“School districts and charter schools are strongly encouraged to create a teaching and
learning environment that allows teachers to provide asynchronous instruction to students
who are in-person and learning remotely. School districts and charter schools may consider
other models of hybrid learning schedules that allow teachers to most effectively meet the

needs of students both in person and remotely.” (#7) “Upon approval by the Executive
Council, a school district or charter school must count 30 minutes per day for teacher
preparation to provide instruction to students in distance learning or a distance learning or
hybrid learning model, as instructional time toward meeting the minimum hours required
by Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 120A.41. This teacher preparation time is for students
receiving instruction in distance learning or a distance learning or hybrid model. This time
is in addition to a school district’s or charter school’s teacher preparation time established
under Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 122A.50.” (#9)
I will be connecting with our Education Minnesota Field Rep Deb Johnson to discuss
EdMn’s interpretation of this language and how it impacts our situation in Edina Public

Executive Order 20-94

Open Enrollment Period For Benefits
As of today, we still have not received information about the open enrollment period for
benefits. The reason is likely that there is one bargaining group that will be voting on
joining our PEIP pool. I will message you with information as soon as I hear something.
In Solidarity, Tom
Connell President
Education Minnesota/Edina
(952) 848-4809 Office