UVA employees form union in response to COVID-19
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Employees at the University of Virginia formed the United Campus Workers of Virginia, a union made up of UVA undergraduate and graduate student workers, faculty, and staff.
The union, which already has more than 50 members, was formed over the summer as a result of the workers' dissatisfaction with UVA's pandemic response.
The union demands that UVA immediately abandon its “hybrid with remote option” learning model for the fall semester and cancel move-in for undergraduate students, citing safety concerns.
"Our most immediate ask is that the university reverse course on trying to bring students back to Grounds and have any element of in-person instruction this semester and we feel really strongly about this because of what happened at schools like UNC, U-Michigan, and Notre Dame where students came back and there was a spike in infections which I think people have been predicting for weeks if not months now," said Crystal Luo, a steering committee member of the United Campus Workers of Virginia.
She said the university has also put more labor and expectations on workers and the union wants them to receive hazard pay.
"We want to make sure that this semester, whether or not it's online, takes care financially and physically and emotionally of everyone at UVA who's been asked to go the extra mile," Luo said.
The union also has goals to increase membership and work with student activist organizations already on Grounds.
The union started a petition to further its goal.