For Immediate Release: FEBRUARY 1, 2021
Contact: President Julie Sellers, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers Email: jsellers@cft-aft.org Phone: (513) 961-2272

CFT was disappointed to receive Judge Lisa Allen decision denying CFT’s request to delay in-person instruction until an
arbitrator could decide the union’s health and safety grievance. The Judge failed to recognize the union’s fundamental
right to enforce the terms of its contract with CPS. The contract requires CPS to co-operate with CFT on safety issues
and gives union members the right to file grievances contesting unsafe working conditions.
CFT will examine its legal remedies in light of the court’s decision today.

In the meantime, CFT will continue to fight for the health and safety of its members and the entire CPS community. In
person instruction is scheduled to begin tomorrow for some of our students. We have advised our members that each of
them must make their own personal decision on whether they should risk COVID infection by ignoring state health
guidelines to minimize contacts with others while our county remains in the “Red”. They and the parents of our students
must consider their own health conditions, and the conditions of their family members in making the decision on
whether to report to school.

We are disappointed that unlike the Columbus School District, CPS has so far declined to extend the FFCRA COVID leave
options previously available under federal law. As a result, if our members get infected or are required to quarantine
because of COVID exposure while at school, they will have to take their own sick leave, if they have any left.
We know many CPS families are also concerned about whether they can safely return their children to school under
these circumstances. We appreciate the support many parents have shown for wanting our members to be effectively
vaccinated before returning to in person instruction.

We had hoped to collaborate with CPS so we could assure our members and the entire community that our schools are
as safe as possible before children return to class. Unfortunately, the Board chose to ignore the concerns of teachers,
staff and many CPS parents. As a result we cannot assure our members or parents that schools will be safe as they
reopen starting tomorrow and in coming weeks.

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The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals who champions the social and economic wellbeing
of our members, Cincinnati’s children, families, working people and communities. We are committed to
advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political
activism and especially through our members’ work.