BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Teachers Union is seeking an injunction to stop plans that would require educators to teach in person, citing safety concerns after coronavirus infection rates passed 4%.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Wednesday that the city is putting a pause on its reopening plan, but will continue allowing highest need students to learn in person.

The union argues that in-person work is now optional for teachers because of the infection rate.

“(Boston Teachers Union will) support any educators that may face undue repercussions as a result of exercising their right to work safely and remotely now that they citywide rate is above 4%, and is much higher in many Boston neighborhoods,” the union told its members in a letter.

In the letter, the union also said members “strongly object” to Boston Superintendent of Schools Brenda Cassellius suggesting teachers could be disciplined for opting not to teach in person.

“In order to best achieve the goal of providing the best possible instruction for all students, BPS must work with us to create a scheduling plan that ensures appropriate staffing for high quality instruction in buildings that are safe, without sending in thousands of non-essential staff whose presence unnecessarily increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission among students, educators, and the public at-large,” the union wrote.

A City of Boston spokesperson responded to the Teachers Union.

“The Mayor wholeheartedly believes that special consideration must be given to our highest needs students who rely on the in-person instruction and support offered by their teachers in a classroom setting, and that we cannot take this away from them when there’s an opportunity, backed by public health, to have them in schools,” the city said on Thursday.

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