Friday, March 13, 2020
Message from President Robert Richardelli
Below is a letter that will be sent to our elected officials pressuring them to follow the guidelines of numerous other states and close all schools. The letter is being signed by a number of local union Presidents from across Long Island, including myself. We are working hard to put the pressure on our elected officials to ensure that our teachers, staff, and most importantly students are not put in a dangerous or life threatening situation. At this time of hysteria it is important that we remain calm, that is what our profession warrants.
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Ms. Shannon Tahoe, Interim Commissioner of Education
Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner, Department of Health
Ms. Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive
Mr. Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive
Mr. Andrew Pallotta, President, NYSUT
We, the undersigned local teachers' union presidents and members of the Long Island Presidents' Council urge you to take decisive, immediate action to close all of our schools in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We additionally urge you to take every possible measure to ensure that districts, teachers, and students are held harmless; that salaries and state aid are protected; and that hourly employees may continue to provide the essential services that our communities need. Educational, governmental and private institutions across the US and worldwide have begun closing in an effort to minimize exposure to the virus. Schools are precisely the sort of large-group, close-contact environment that government and health officials have identified as significant risks for the spread of this infection. We need your leadership and your advocacy. Further delays place people's lives at grave risk.
Long Island Presidents Council