July 24, 2020 Contacts:
Dr. Karen Morian, UFF President [email protected]; (904)704-1033
Dr. Jaffar Ali Shahul-Hameed, UFF First Vice President [email protected]
UFF PRESS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY, JULY 27th AT 2:00 P.M. EDT
Register via Zoom: https://floridaea.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMode6vpjguEtO8h6Cga56lq-T8voj94RGs
The officers of the United Faculty of Florida will be joined by fellow members and Florida Education Association Vice President Andrew Spar on Monday, July 27th at 2:00 P.M. EDT to announce the union’s call for transition of all Florida’s institutions of Higher Education to remote learning. As UFF President Karen Morian states, “We love face-to-face teaching and miss our students, but, as much as our faculty and students fervently wish to get back to our classrooms, the steadily rising COVID-19 infections and deaths warn against it. We all want to reopen our campuses but, more importantly, for them to remain open in the long term. Our students, faculty, staff, and many administrators are gravely concerned about early re-openings; we all deserve safe learning and working conditions. If our institutions become hot-spots due to early re-openings, closing campuses mid-term once again would do real harm, mentally, physically, and economically. Bringing faculty and students back to college and university campuses in the fall may achieve a Pyrrhic victory, at best.”
Most current plans were developed 6-8 weeks ago and less than 40% of the institutions where UFF represents faculty have revised those plans despite the surge in recent COVID-19 infections. “Are we willing to risk the lives of up to 2,000 students or the hospitalization of 25,000 students”, asks UFF First Vice President Jaffar Ali Shahul-Hameed? These are the projected numbers based on May 2020 data which preceded the spike in cases since then.
Most current plans fail to address sick students, sick faculty, on campus housing in the event of an outbreak, testing or tracing, and the inevitable lawsuits which are likely to occur.
As Jaffar states, “If Florida were a country, our daily reported cases would be in the top 4 worldwide in recent days, behind the US, India, and Brazil.” UFF urges the Governor, the Chancellor of the Board of Governors, Commissioner Corcoran, and FCS Chancellor Hebda to not send us down this path of uncertainty.
The press conference will be virtual using the Zoom platform and you can register at the link that follows.