O-N BOCES teachers say Covid protocol not being followed

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 September 2020 at 10:31 am

Superintendent disputes that, saying BOCES adhering to CDC, state guidelines

MEDINA – The Orleans-Niagara BOCES Teachers’ Association has filed a complaint with the state, claiming their workplaces don’t meet state Covid-19 protocols for facial coverings, social distancing and cleaning of schools.

The union filed a Public Employee Health and Safety complaint with the New York State Commissioner of Labor.

The BOCES Teachers’ Association cast a vote of “no confidence” in Dr. Clark Godshall, BOCES superintendent, on Wednesday, according to a report from WGRZ in Buffalo.

Godshall and BOCES issued a news release, saying they are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the New York  State Education Department, the New York State and local health departments, and medical advisors for Covid-19 protocols.

BOCES has hired more nursing and custodial staff to meet increased site needs. Site supervisors and school nurses work closely with local school districts, parents and agencies to resolve emerging issues, Godshall said.

“Union input was received and impact bargaining was conducted,” he said. “The BOCES has responded reasonably to bargaining demands from the teachers’ union. NYSUT has targeted the O/N BOCES with inaccurate claims and we look forward to the regulatory agencies confirming that we are in full compliance with safety procedures.”

The O-N BOCES has all of the necessary personal protective equipment, expending an additional $330,000 to ensure that all of the BOCES sites are adequately supplied, Godshall said.

BOCES also has reconfigured instructional class space to adhere to social distance and facial mask requirements.

“Remote, virtual and on-site instruction are provided in support of our 13 sending school districts to meet the needs of our students,” Godshall said.

The O-N BOCES will continue to carefully monitor and implement safety guidelines at our sites, the group stated in a news release.

“We recognize the ongoing pandemic is stressful for all involved,” according to the statement. “We will continue to work diligently to implement and enforce our safety plans that make the physical, academic, social, and emotional well-being of all students, staff and families our top priorities.”

Return to top