This Friday we had an INCREDIBLE turn out from YOU, our members, at impact bargaining. We had NINE of you choose to bravely share your stories of high-risk conditions, dangerous workplaces, students disregarding masking “expectations,” and lack of University understanding or support. These statements were SO powerful, and are truly some of our most IMPORTANT bargaining tools.
This Friday we presented our counter-offer to the University on COVID health and safety protocols for this Fall. Last time, the University accepted much of what we proposed, but of course differed from us on the most critical parts: namely, our proposal to offer a series of health and safety protocols for students to pick between. This included masking and vaccination, but it also included FLEX classes, social distancing, regular negative COVID tests, &c. This would NOT violate the Governor’s orders against mask mandates or vaccine mandates (even as that order was overturned in court Friday).
The University responded by asking for more time to develop a counter proposal, and to meet again next Friday. Although this is of course disappointing, there are some successes to report…
As you might have seen, the University sent out an email Friday with NEW protocols on COVID testing and informing course instructors. Now course instructors WILL be informed if a student is “cleared” to attend class, or not. This gives course instructors the ability to make informed decisions about if they or their classroom needs to quarantine or not, as well as giving instructors the ability to keep students who are not “cleared” out of the classroom.
This is not EVERYTHING we need to have a safe and healthy fall semester, but it’s a start! it is MORE than we had on THURSDAY, so let’s KEEP THE PRESSURE UP!! Your work, your impact statements, your attendance at bargaining, your attendance at our health and safety action on Thursday, and your statements to the Board of Trustees: ALL OF THIS is why the University administration is making changes NOW: because of YOU.
Want to help craft our next response? The bargaining committee is meeting TOMORROW, Sunday, at 3PM on Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84597272414... Meeting ID: 845 9727 2414 Passcode: 312255
United We Bargain, Divided We Beg! In Solidarity, Vincenza Antonetta Berardo Chief Negotiator & Bargaining Chair