Teachers association files complaint against Orleans/Niagara BOCES

Niagara County
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MEDINA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Orleans-Niagara BOCES Teachers’ Association says BOCES has ignored COVID-19 protocols, and now they’re filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.

The complaints are related to classroom sizes, face coverings, school cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Days ago, teachers cast a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Dr. Clark Godshall, saying he endangered teachers, students and the local communities.

The BOCES is failing at providing the standard safeguards against this pandemic like social distancing, protective gear and the thorough cleaning of schools,” Orleans-Niagara BOCES Teachers Association President Deborah Hillburn says. “Under Superintendent Godshall’s leadership, the BOCES is dangerously exposing staff and students to contracting and spreading this deadly virus, particularly with students traveling back to their home districts when their half-day at BOCES is over. We are committed to our students and a successful reopening of our schools, but that cannot be done without the BOCES’s commitment to consistently implement proper safety and health protocols.”

The teachers association’s complaint can be read in it’s entirety here.

In response to the complaint, Orleans/Niagara BOCES says it has met the standards for the pandemic, spending an additional $330,000 to make sure needs are met.

“Union input was received and impact bargaining was conducted,” Dr. Godshall says. “The BOCES has responded reasonably to bargaining demands from the teachers’ union.   NYSUT has targeted the O/N BOCES with inaccurate claims and we look forward to the regulatory agencies confirming that we are in full compliance with safety procedures.”

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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