Student Workers Have Lost Campus Jobs, Housing During COVID

Ashley Hendricks October 7, 2020 6 No Comments

Student Workers Have Lost Campus Jobs, Housing During COVID

“We want to make UVA a better and safer workplace for all of us,” André Zazzera, a graduate student and member of their UCWV, informs Teen Vogue. “We expect that the marriage keeps growing in power and numbers, and one day profit [s] full recognition and bargaining rights in the state authorities. In the immediate term, we’re interested in maintaining our employees secure, providing all the working people in the university a voice and a way to modify their office, and also to bring democracy to our college.”

Students in the University of Michigan (UM) are likewise frustrated by office conditions on campus, and more than 100 undergraduate residential staff went on strike in protest. Though the attack ended on September 22, it continued over a week, and throughout that time student employees refused to attend meetings, work the front desk, and also participate in different duties until the college acceded to a number of their demands. Many remarkable students state they’re worried for their health and don’t believe the college is adequately protecting employees from COVID-19; residential employees allege that, among other matters, move-in bins weren’t correctly sanitized, the college didn’t always offer COVID testing for residential employees, or suitable advice about the best way best to take care of pupils’ pre-arrival testing compliance. On a Twitter accounts the striking staff asserts, one RA claims UM delivered her into the area of a pupil who tested positive for the virus and didn’t irritate her ahead of time. 

“Being a member of ResStaff this semester has been really scary,” Alyssa Frizzo, a resident assistant who had been a part of the attack in the University of Michigan, informs Teen Vogue. “Our only compensation is room and board, but the dorms don’t feel safe anymore.”

According into Frizzo, the college fulfilled a number of their student requirements in its own September 22 offer, such as providing powerful testing for pupils and providing resident personnel with disposable masks. )

On September 8, the two,000 members of this Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) in the University of Michigan also went to strike, demanding a better answer to COVID-19 on campus along with also a change to campus surveying. But on September 16, graduate employees called an end to their strike and approved an offer from the college; graduate students in the faculty inform Teen Vogue that was since the administration took legal action against their union.

“The university filed a preliminary injunction against GEO 3550 and a temporary restraining order that included seeking damages of $25,000 from the union,” describes Daniel Delmonaco, that a Ph. D. student in the University of Michigan. “The deal we took with UM was quite similar to the same deal we were offered in the first week of the strike, but the major difference was that the university would drop the legal action against us. UM refused to give us a universal remote work option and made very few concessions related to increased COVID-19 testing and transparency of their plans.”

“We did have two different groups of student workers who were on strike, but those strikes have been resolved,” Rick Fitzgerald, the assistant vice president for public events in the University of Michigan, informs Teen Vogue through email. Fitzgerald did not react to followup questions regarding the pupils’ particular allegations about COVID-19 protections along with also their other stated reasons for going on strike.

For many student employees, being put off is not merely a fiscal issue but also an emotional one. At Kingsborough Community College (KCC) at Brooklyn, university budget reductions have meant that lots of pupils have left or weren’t rehired, including student employees in the KCC Urban Farm, an on-campus farm which offers free produce to local communities afflicted by food insecurity, and also functions as a refuge for several queer students of color on campus. Jade Huynh, who functions as a student aide in the farm,” states her hours have been cut because the pandemic began and the plantation has lost many workers. 

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