UCWGA-UGA Calls For Transparency And Protection Of Vulnerable Workers In Reopening Plans

The email from the upper administration of UGA about plans to reopen the campus in the Fall, sent yesterday morning to all staff, tells us little about their actual process. We insist on greater transparency, and an acknowledgment of the full dimensions of the challenge.

The focus and membership of the working groups formulating the response remain unknown to the community at large. The University must create full openness and communication, not only from the top down, but also from the bottom up. We call for an immediate town hall open to all members of the UGA community to make our concerns known. This is the only way that the UGA community can have confidence in the response, and can come to a mutual understanding of how we can protect each other.

It is now known that low wage workers— whose number remains a continuing embarrassment at UGA— often suffer from underlying health conditions that worsen their risks from infection. The actual working conditions we face must be fully understood and taken into account. The only way this can happen is through direct discussion. All workers must be empowered to shield themselves and their families from infection. At the very least, full PPE for personnel most exposed to the peril from the pandemic— custodial staff, food service workers, facilities workers, and others— is essential.

View the PDF of UCWGA-UGA's May 22nd, 2020 press release: