UEA Survey: Do Teachers Support A Work Stoppage Amid Pandemic?

Nov 19, 2020, 7:23 PM | Updated: 8:03 pm

MURRAY, Utah – The Utah Education Association tried to figure out its next steps during the pandemic by surveying teachers about working conditions and whether they would support a statewide job action like a “sick out.”

“Our jobs as educators have never been more complicated,” UEA President Heidi Matthews said in the introduction to the survey. “We all want nothing more than to be in school with our students, teaching face-to-face as we know is best for their learning.”

Matthews said some UEA members felt that in-classroom teaching created a health risk, while other teachers reported feeling overwhelmed with the demands of simultaneous in-person and remote teaching.

“Still, others are comfortable with their school’s COVID protocols and strongly object to calls for moving to at-home learning,” Matthews said.

In asking for member teachers to complete the survey, Matthews said that the information would be used to better understand how the UEA can best support teachers.

A teacher provided KSL a screenshot of the first question that asks how the UEA should respond to working conditions and concerns about health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One option asked if the UEA should “organize a statewide job action (such as a ‘sick out’ or other action that would halt work for a day or more) to urge immediate attention by state leaders to the concerns of educations and schools?”

A UEA spokesperson said that surveys like this are routine and that they are not calling for any specific work stoppage action, but that they are hearing that teachers are overwhelmed.

“There are concerns that maybe we need some kind of action so that teachers’ concerns are heard more,” said Mike Kelley, the UEA’s communications director. “This survey is definitely a step in that direction to make sure that teacher voices are being heard.”

The survey also asked teachers if the UEA should “call for a temporary move to at-home learning for all schools statewide until COVID number decline,” or if just schools with high COVID numbers should shift online temporarily.

“More absolutely needs to be done across the board, but there are some school districts that are really suffering, and we need some action to happen in those areas,” Kelley said. “So we’ll see what we get from the survey and hopefully develop some actions that can help alleviate some of these concerns.”

Other options that teachers could select included whether the UEA should focus on actions from local districts instead of statewide initiatives, and whether it should “urge educators with personal concerns to continue in-school teaching because it’s best for students.”

Kelley said that the survey was getting a lot of responses from teachers, and that it will be available through Sunday.

The survey comes in the aftermath of the UEA’s failed plea to Governor Gary Herbert to move public secondary schools in areas with high transmission of COVID-19 to at-home instruction through at least Winter Break.

The UEA said that if the governor doesn’t take action to move those secondary schools online, that local school boards should take the action.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Back to School

A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
11 days ago
Deanie Wimmer

Chronic Absenteeism leads to rise in F grades in most of Utah’s largest school districts

Schools all over Utah are dealing with the problem of chronic absenteeism. Educators are seeing thousands of absences, and as a result, failing grades.
12 days ago
Box Elder High School (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

In excessive heat, some districts without A/C move to half days to spare students

With record-breaking, three-digit temperatures and older schools without air conditioning, two districts and one additional high school have announced changes to a half-day schedule to accommodate students.
23 days ago
Shara Park

Taylorsville High Wellness Center sees more students in need of basic items

Taylorsville High created a wellness center to give kids a break, however over the course of the year staff saw an increasing need for basic supplies like food, clothing, and hygiene products.
24 days ago
A teacher starts to reset up her classrooms at Freedom Preparatory Academy as they begin to prepare...
COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer

Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show

A new national study finds math and reading scores for America's 9-year-old students fell sharply during the pandemic, underscoring the impact of two years of learning disruptions.
24 days ago
Lauren Steinbrecher

Tooele High releases students after broken AC causes uncomfortable class temps

The Tooele County School District was forced to release all students at Tooele High School Wednesday, after a broken air conditioning system led to classroom temperatures too high to work in.
25 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
UEA Survey: Do Teachers Support A Work Stoppage Amid Pandemic?