Fellow Paraeducators,

I hope you are staying safe and well during these unprecedented times.

I have been in consistent contact with district administration throughout the past week and have shared all concerns that paras have brought to me.  I have been assured that this input has been taken into consideration when discussing how to meet the directives given out by Governor Tim Walz, while also following the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC and MDE.  

I have also stayed in contact with our attorneys Zaidee Martin and Joel Button.  Following is an excerpt from a communication they sent to all of their union leaders:

Orders at work: If an employee has a question about an order at work and whether it violates the contract. The golden rule is “obey now, grieve later”. That means, do what you’ve been asked to do and then contact your union to explain what happened and what to do. The only exception is immediate health and safety. As the Governor and hopefully your employer has said: If you or a household member is vulnerable or sick stay home, but call in so they know. 

All employees are expected to report as usual to their assignment on Monday, March 23rd.  If you are at high risk for infection, exhibiting symptoms of illness or have other extenuating circumstances preventing you from reporting to work, contact your supervisor to keep them apprised of the situation.

The district will be issuing a FAQ communication later this afternoon explaining more of the details for Monday.  The email should answer most of the questions you have.  If you have unanswered questions after receiving this email, you can contact your supervisor.  I will also be available to respond to questions to the best of my ability or reach out to find an answer or share a concern with the appropriate person(s).

Please take care of yourself and your family by practicing safety precautions.  I know we are all scared and worried right now, please be patient as the district figures out how best to meet the requirements put before them with no past experience to draw upon.  We all must do what is necessary for the good of our community and country to get through this crisis.

Gina Uebel

President, AHPA

SPED Paraeducator, Pathways