GWC COVID-19 Funding Support Petition Demands
Dear President Bollinger and Provost Katznelson,
GWC-UAW members currently face serious economic precarity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, between national hiring freezes, loss of teaching opportunities, travel restrictions, and terminated or postponed grants. This precarity is wrapped up in the greater challenges and insecurity we face in the wake of this global crisis. In support for the extenuating circumstances, we call upon the university to provide these temporary accommodations which include:
1. Guaranteed Summer and Fall 2020 appointments, with any worker whose appointment is cancelled fully compensated.
2. Full funding for student workers on grant-based research funding if it is cancelled or postponed.
3. The right to an extension of funding by one year for graduate workers who need it.
4. An increase and extension of summer funding to be equal to funding provided during Spring and Fall terms, allowing students to live in New York amidst reduced work opportunities.
5. Reimbursement of all costs related to performing work from home, including but not limited to training for online teaching and online course design, laptop and electronics upgrades, maintenance, and general wear and tear, ethernet cables, routers, tablets, computer-related ergonomic equipment and electronic pens.
6. Compensation for increases in workload due to remote teaching.
7. An option for graduate workers graduating during a national hiring freeze to receive paid positions with benefits in their respective fields at Columbia.
8. An option for the continuation health coverage (like COBRA) to all student workers who are graduating.
9. Establishment of an emergency fund to meet incidental costs caused by the crisis.
These measures are essential not only to assure fair work conditions for precarious workers, but also to ensure that Columbia meets its stated mission as an institution of higher education.
As a union, we look forward to continuing to bargain with Columbia for a fair contract, and we believe that Columbia can immediately provide the above measures to alleviate hardships students are facing due to COVID-19.
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