To: OAPSE Members
From: Executive Director Joe Rugola
Re: Status of Ohio Shutdown and Impact on OAPSE Members
Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year. We have been communicating regularly with the governor, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health and the state agencies that oversee the work of OAPSE members across the state. As we continue these productive discussions, we will keep our focus on your safety and protecting your jobs. We appreciate the governor’s leadership during this crisis and his work to include our union in finding solutions to the difficult problems we face as a result of this national health emergency.
The governor has made clear that he shares our view that when staff and students return to schools – perhaps in the fall of this year – your safety is the top priority. We have had very productive and respectful discussions, and we all want to make sure that real plans are in place to protect staff and students and that protective gear is available to OAPSE members to stop exposure of COVID-19.
At this point, we have no indication there will be an interruption of pay and benefits for our members who remain employed. For those members who have been laid off, information about expanded unemployment benefits is available here, including information about the enhanced benefits which include an additional $600 per week through July.
In coordination with our International union, OAPSE will keep pressing Congress to pass legislation that will provide critical funding to schools and state and local governments. Governor DeWine is working with us to persuade the Ohio congressional delegation to make that funding a priority and get it to the states quickly. Of course, we will update you as soon as we have information about our progress.
We remain on the job for you, and we will be here throughout this health emergency and beyond. As always, if you have questions, please contact your local president or field representative. Stay well and stay safe.
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