BCGEU-UAW COVID-19 Outbreak Demands Sign-On
To Boston College President William Leahy and Provost David Quigley,
The leadership of hundreds of colleges in the United States listened to the most respected scientists and health officials, and decided to prioritize the safety of students and employees by making most or all of their courses available for online learning. They recognized the clear risks of forcing their students and employees to learn and work in life-threatening conditions. In contrast, you decided to compel graduate workers, faculty, and other employees to work on campus with little regard for our safety and without our input. We’ve seen what has happened elsewhere when campuses reopen too soon, and now it’s happening at Boston College.
As the recent Boston Globe story illustrates, you have failed to deliver on your promises of frequent testing and sufficient safeguards, and you have broken the trust of graduate workers, our families, our students, and our fellow employees. Given this ongoing negligence and failure to adequately organize the safe reopening of the university for its students, workers, and community members, the Boston College Graduate Employees Union (BCGEU-UAW) makes the following demands in solidarity with our colleagues and our fellow members of the BC community. If these demands are not met by Monday, September 21, we will have no choice but to call for your resignations.
The Boston College leadership must:
- Immediately move all courses possible to online/remote learning, and take measures to de-densify campus wherever possible.
- Provide all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for every worker whose responsibilities require them to come to campus, including N95 masks, face shields, gloves, etc.
- Enact a higher frequency of testing for COVID-19, including testing at least twice weekly for all members of the BC community regularly on campus, and on demand for all BC community members, and ensure robust contact tracing within the BC community.
- Immediately include democratically elected representatives as equal partners in all current and future decision making around campus safety policy, including graduate workers and other graduate students, undergraduate students, staff, and faculty.
- Supply written assurances that no employee will suffer a loss of pay or benefits during this pandemic, especially graduate workers and hourly employees.
- Extend degree timelines, waive continuation fees for all students for at least one year, and extend funding and health insurance coverage for all graduate students by at least one year.
Lives are at stake, and these measures must be enacted before any are lost. Refusal to do so would demonstrate a clear failure of leadership at Boston College, and we would have no choice but to demand your resignations.
From the Boston College Graduate Employee Union - UAW
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