Washoe teachers file complaint; district says it’s not factual
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Washoe Education Association mailed in an OSHA complaint to the Nevada’s Industrial Relations Office on behalf of county teachers.
The complaint follows Washoe County School District’s decision to reopen schools in the fall.
WEA Executive Director Thomas Stauss told the Tribune he cannot talk more about the complaint until the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration receives the complaint.
While NVOSHA is not yet able to speak to this complaint directly, Teri Williams, public information officer for the division of industrial relations, said once they receive the complaint, they will send a letter of inquiry to the employer asking them to address the concerns.
“If the employer response satisfies the inquiry, the complaint is closed,” Williams said. “If the agency determines that the response is unsatisfactory, they have the option to open an investigation. The process could take anywhere from a few weeks to a month.”
NVOSHA officials will be following Gov. Steve Sisolaks’ directive that lays out requirements/protocols for schools, including face covering and social distancing requirements.
“While the WCSD has still yet to receive a copy of the Washoe Education Association OSHA complaint, based on the comments by WEA leadership in the media, their complaint is not supported by facts,” a statement from WCSD said. “The district’s reopening plan meets or exceeds all directives established by Gov. Sisolak.”
The statement also said that the reopening task force worked closely with staff members and community members to create the plan. The district also said it will be spending, “approximately $460,000 on personal protective equipment for staff members including teachers and working with various community partners to procure additional PPE for staff and teachers.
“We further believe the WEA’s potential complaint is inappropriate and unfortunate, as district leadership has continually worked to establish a trusting relationship with all of our associations,” the statement continued. “The district will address the potential complaint with state authorities as it continues the important work of opening our schools and welcoming our students back to learning for the 2020-2021 school year.”
The clock is ticking with most Washoe County schools scheduled to start on Aug. 17.
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