UMD Student Solidarity for Employee Demands

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As UMD students, we stand in solidarity with AFSCME Local 1072 in demanding that the administration negotiate with campus employees over health and safety protocols. Campus employees put their bodies on the line and deserve to have a say. Workers want input on testing, contract tracing, PPE, teleworkers returning to campus, and the threshold for closing campus back up again. We the students support the union’s demands: 

  1.  A commitment from the UMD administration to negotiate with the union on COVID-19 health and safety issues.
  2.  A schedule and a plan for mandatory, universal, regular testing.
  3. Daily in-person screening either at entrances to buildings or campus-wide.
  4. Maximum schedule flexibility. Local schools are doing distance learning until at least February and childcare options are extremely limited.
  5.  Answers to telework concerns. Personal equipment use, personal phone and data plan use, work expectations and work/life balance will still be challenges this Fall.
  6. Additional emergency leave, as many other Big 10 schools and other public universities have done.
  7. Detailed plans describing how students who are in isolation or quarantining on campus will be safely serviced by staff.
  8. Abundant PPE and cleaning supplies/disinfectant and training on how to use them.
  9. The plan for handling positive cases including contact tracing.

Based on the planning process for reopening campus so far and the demands that the union has presented, it is clear that campus employees are not being treated as valued members of the campus community. If the University wants to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of every campus citizen, it can begin by negotiating with AFSCME to ensure the health and safety of all community members. We urge you, the administration, to promptly act on AFSCME’s demands. UMD employees are the backbone of our institution and deserve so much more than being ignored.