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TUSD addresses protections in place for workers

Posted at 6:30 AM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 09:30:58-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tuscon Unified School District has roughly five hundred students on campuses right now, they have already had to shut down two campuses and partially closed down another.

Ahead of the most recent closures, the human resources director explained what is in place to protect workers.

“First, we're asking for volunteers who want to come down to the campus to talk to one of our learning spaces. If we can't cover the needs of the campus with volunteers, then we start asking others to come in. And if we have an employee who doesn't feel comfortable coming in, they certainly have some options,” said Renee Heusser, human resources director.

TUSD sent out a four-page memo to employees ahead of the school year explaining what is in place.

Option one is taking emergency paid sick leave but the employee must meet specific criteria.

Option two is taking an extended leave.

“So there's about a couple weeks worth on leave and then an extended [Family and Medical Leave Act] FMLA option for people who have childcare issues," explained Heusser.

Option three is asking for accommodations.

The final option would be retirement or leaving the district.

TUSD said it has worked hard to ensure their learning environments are safe.

“We have worked really hard to make sure that our, our spaces are safe and cleaning protocols are just off the charts. We've had a lot of mandatory training that employees have to go through before they're even allowed to go back on campus-- around cleaning and physical distancing,” said Heusser.

Everyone who steps foot on a TUSD campus must wear either a mask or a face shield. If the person doesn't have one, one will be provided, according to Heusser.