Show Solidarity with Newcomb Hall Student Workers

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Christian May
Christian May signed this petition

Due to a budget deficit in the Office of the Dean of Students, Newcomb Hall is currently undergoing a reorganization - a major component of this reorganization is a significant reduction of staff, including student workers at the 3rd Floor service desk - us. Over the past few months, this transition has resulted in the loss of a loved boss, many employees quitting, and systemic overworking of those who choose to stay or, for financial reasons, cannot choose to leave.

Our main job responsibility is putting up and taking down furniture for events within the University - some shifts are slow, but on a busy day, our role requires each and every person on shift. In the future, the decrease in staff will be enabled by a change in strategy as to how events are set up, likely moving to a self-service model.

This has NOT happened yet. But they HAVE significantly increased our job responsibilities, and refused to fill empty positions as people have quit. This has frequently resulted in employees being forced to assume the responsibilities of two. In order to accomplish the tasks on a shift, we have been forced to cut corners, pull employees from other departments, and generally struggle to accomplish what needs to be done. As the job has gotten worse, more people have quit - as more people have quit, more and more work has been put on each employee.

Every request for relief has been met with denial.

Faced with a lack of cooperation or sympathy from management, we have been forced to pursue alternate methods of perceiving change.

Recently, we talked to the Cavalier Daily, detailing everything we've been through thus far. They just published an article, explaining the details. 

Next, we sent a letter to President James Ryan, detailing what we think needs to change here at Newcomb - and then we went a step further. This should never have happened to us here at Newcomb, but more importantly it should never happen again.

Therefore, in addition to redress for our grievances, in the letter we are calling for UVA to introduce new policies officially recognizing the rights of student workers, and protecting them from abuses like these ones. These are desperately needed policies, especially to enable the success of low-income students here at the University.

Here at the Service Desk, we make $8.50 an hour. That's a stone's throw above minimum wage. Maybe you can get away with paying your employees like crap. Maybe you can get away with treating your employees like crap. But you shouldn't be able to get away with both.

If you agree with us, and would like to support the rights of student workers at the University of Virginia, please sign this petition.