AU Staff Union: Dear Colleagues Letter
This difficult time has further affirmed that having a union and having a say in our working conditions is critical to decrease the uncertainty and stress that staff at AU are currently experiencing and have experienced for a long time. In the midst of the COVID-19 global health crisis, the issues we deal with daily are increasing and compounding. We have a choice. We can sit back and hope AU makes the right decisions, or we can unite together to make sure our voices are heard. We ask that you join us in holding AU accountable to the following principles by signing onto this letter today!
A Union for all AU workers
We need the power to negotiate with our administration to ensure our colleagues who remain on campus are safe and those working remotely have the proper tools and support to do their jobs. We believe that every AU worker deserves a union and that AU must protect all workers on campus. We need a say in what our working conditions look like. This institution will be stronger when we have a seat at the table.
We are essential to the fundamental mission of the university and without us there is no AU. Even before this pandemic, AU staff faced high turnover and understaffing, many of us doing additional work outside of our official roles. Layoffs or furloughs on top of a hiring freeze would push this already untenable situation over the edge.
PPE and Campus Safety
We need appropriate PPE for all campus workers now and going forward. We need clean workspaces and facilities. We need teleworking to remain an option for all staff who wish to work from home in order to protect themselves and their families. We need to be part of this critical decision-making process in order to ensure absolute transparency with regards to AU’s reopening strategy.
Fair and Compassionate Work Leave
This difficult time has made it essential that fair and compassionate leave be ensured to all staff. We need additional sick leave to cover the impact of this unprecedented pandemic. We need the ability to roll over unused paid time off.
Transparency and Communication
We know there are many unknowns at this time, but what we do know is that our campus will be safer and stronger when we are included in critical decisions about the future. We need to have a say when it comes to AU’s redeployment plan, merit increases, compensation for additional work, campus safety, salary and benefits, and any plans related to university-wide cost-saving measures. True transparency and communication comes from staff having a seat at the table.
This is the time where we must be united; more than ever before. We cannot have just a select few administrators making important decisions about our safety and our livelihoods. It should not have been that way before and it cannot be that way now.
By coming together as a union, we will have the power to ensure our concerns will be taken seriously and our needs met so we can safely and effectively uphold the mission of this university. We ask you to stand with us and join the movement to make things the best they can be for AU staff and the entire campus community. Join us by signing onto this letter today!
Aja Simpson Zulfiqar
I agree to have my name included publicly alongside my colleagues at the bottom of this letter.
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