Give SUNY Oneonta RAs COVID-19 Compensation

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Resident Advisors of the State University of New York College at Oneonta are not appropriately compensated for their duties during this COVID-19 pandemic. We notified the Office of the President, Dr. Barbara Jean Morris, and members of her cabinet of our demands by sending the following letter:

Dear Dr. Barbara Jean Morris,

We hope that you are in good health.

Many Resident Advisors feel that their compensation package does not reflect the demands of their daily duties, given their increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.

This letter is to inform you and your office that 40 Resident Advisors have agreed to make the following demands regarding COVID-19 compensation:

1) Be paid NYS minimum wage—$11.80/hour—for all hours worked at the front desk while CDC guidelines for COVID-19 are in place; this includes both weekly desk hours and the 7pm - 11pm Duty desk hours.

- On-call, or “backup RAs,” to be paid NYS minimum wage 7pm - 11pm where applicable.


- Back pay included, starting from August 17th, 2020.


2) Board compensation for first and second-semester RAs be increased to that of
RAs serving beyond two semesters for the Fall 2020 semester: from $600 to $900.


3) If an RA is mandated to move to Matteson, Tobey, or any hall for quarantine or isolation, they be paid half of what they were scheduled to be paid in the days spent in quarantine or isolation.


4) Single rooms for all RAs that request one while CDC guidelines for COVID-19 are in place.


5) All the additional compensations listed above be provided without:

- Altering the existing compensation for RAs or Residential Community Life
employees.


- Reducing funding for The Center for Multicultural Experiences (CME).


- Raising the price of any student bill, especially in the form of student fees,
more than already anticipated for the Spring 2021 semester.


- Altering existing compensation for other student employees, including
those of the Resident Student Organization (RSO) and Night Hosts.


As of 7:00 AM, September 2nd, we have elected to give your office five days to agree to our demands. During these five days, we will perform our duties in a manner that we deem as “the bare minimum.”


We will always respond to emergencies.


If our demands are not met by 7:00 AM, September 7th—Labor Day—Resident Advisors will cease all productivity; this includes reporting for duty and non-emergency policy enforcement.


Once the Office of the President agrees to further compensate Residential Advisors and meet our demands, we will resume working. Please note that a promise to meet or talk with our leadership team, which can be contacted via SUNYOneontaRAs@gmail.com, is not, in and of itself, sufficient for ending our strike.


In a recent email to Resident Advisors, the Director of Residential Community Life, Tyler Miller, told RAs to “Keep advocating for your students and yourselves.” We believe that our demands are consistent with the spirit of that request, as well as the values of our department.


Our deepest gratitude goes out to our residents and supervisors, many of whom have advocated for us as fellow students and employees. Now we ask that you and your colleagues, Dr. Morris, extend that same level of commitment that our community has shown us to all Resident Advisors, by providing Resident Advisors fair compensation for the hours they put in during this pandemic.


We sign in solidarity,


Resident Advisors of the State University of New York College at Oneonta