PETITION: Workers Union of UNC Platform for Fall Semester 2020 Reopening

We, the undersigned campus workers and graduate workers at UNC-Chapel Hill, and their supporters, are writing to the university administration at UNC to express our grave concerns regarding the current state of the COVID-19 response at UNC-Chapel Hill, especially with the planned return of students this fall under the current “Carolina Roadmap” proposed by the administration.

Despite the steady rise of laboratory-confirmed cases and hospitalizations, the efforts to stop the coronavirus's spread at UNC-Chapel Hill have either stalled or gone backward. The university has rolled back hazard pay and compensatory time for mandatory employees. Administrative leave has been rolled back, leaving hundreds of temporary employees with severely reduced or no pay, and permanent employees required to use up to 26+ hours of leave per week. Additionally, protective equipment remains rationed with employees being required to reuse disposable masks for long periods of time up to a week.

These policy failures inevitably fall hardest on Black and Brown workers' shoulders, putting them at risk during a pandemic that disproportionately impacts their health. 

For these reasons, The Workers Union at UNC demands the administration create a real plan of action before August 3rd, reflecting the safety concerns of workers and students by adopting the following policies:

  1. Keep us Safe:

    1. Clear written protocol for quarantining staff and students who screen or test positive for COVID-19.

    2. Adopt consistent policies across departments for accommodations that comply with HIPPA and ADA.

    3. Adequate protective equipment (1 mask per shift and gloves, face shields and gowns, where necessary).

    4. Daily COVID-19 symptom screening for all staff and students on campus by professional personnel.

  2. Keep our Jobs and Income Safe:

    1. Make teaching in-person optional for all faculty and graduate workers without demanding reason or cause. 

    2. Two weeks of additional sick leave should be provided to all university employees.

    3. Prevent privatization of UNC Housekeeping.

    4. Restore full administrative leave for ALL university employees including temporary workers.

    5. Increase funding for UNC’s Child Care Services Association (CCSA) and expand eligible coverage to every single child of all university workers including part-time and temporary

    6. Provide safe transportation and free parking for all workers

  3. Provide a seat at the table for the Workers Union at UNC (UE Local 150) leaders in each department to meet with university administrators and management to ensure safety measures. 

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