The events that transpired leading up to and including the SCPS Convocation on August 5th, 2022, are some of the most unfortunate we have experienced as an association. While SEA supports the goals of the Convocation and agrees with the intended message, it is our position that serious breakdowns in planning and communication occurred. We believe it is important that these breakdowns be analyzed to prevent their recurrence in the future. Though staff expressed concerns regarding the predicted high temperatures, these concerns were dismissed. As a result, the health and safety of over 4,000 Stafford educators was jeopardized. Many staff suffered heat-related illnesses, and many incurred medical, food, and/or transportation expenses. In light of these events, SEA is requesting the following from division leadership:
Forgive the leave for those who chose to stay home Friday, and any additional leave incurred by those who are experiencing continued adverse health issues as a result of the event.
Conduct an investigation into the events leading up to and including August 5th. Provide a thorough explanation of what the plans were, what factors influenced the failure of these plans, and what will be done to prevent a recurrence.
Include a caveat for all staff events that enables medically fragile employees to opt out without taking leave.
To restore expenses incurred and compensate for lost time, provide a restitution payment of $200 for all full-time staff and $100 for all part-time staff no later than December 1, 2022. These payments should be made in addition to any worker’s compensation claims.
While we heartily recognize the positive intent of the Convocation event, it is unfortunate that educators were unable to reap the intended benefits. What they did accomplish was a unity of purpose found in helping fellow educators during a time of great need. Let us take this unity and use its momentum to create positive change. Let us begin this school year by modeling fellowship, positivity, and unity for all staff, students, and stakeholders in Stafford County.
Stafford Education Association Executive Board