Workers at Georgia Southwestern recently delivered an open letter to President Weaver and Provost Smith urging them to advocate for a USG mask mandate and to model responsible mask wearing behavior


[MILLEDGEVILLE, GA December 29—]This morning, the Georgia College (GC) chapter of the United Campus Workers of Georgia (UCWGA) and community supporters sent an

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Your hard work has continued to keep all of our 26 institutions and the University System Office (USO) accessible and responsive in an extraordinary time, even as you have had to juggle your own personal challenges. I am grateful and proud of the way each of you has responded to our rapid shift in operations.

On May 1, 2020, UCWGA joined with other Georgia unions and workers in a car and bike protest demanding worker protections, expanded health and unemployment benefits, rent freezes, and the release of prisoners in jails and immigration detention centers. Over 100 cars participated in the caravan alongside dozens of bicycles!

$3.6 billion. That’s the amount Georgia state agencies will cut from their budgets in the next fiscal year in response to COVID-19. A May 1 memo from state budget leaders insists every agency must cut 14%, “with no exceptions.” This includes the University System of Georgia (USG), which previously announced anticipated losses of $350 million. The 14% cut — which amounts to over $361 million — will more than double the already devastating losses. Students and employees throughout the state are going to suffer tremendously, and the shocks will reverberate for years to come.

April was a big month for UCWGA graduate students. It marked the culmination of year-long, statewide efforts calling for the repeal of the Special Institutional Fee (SIF), which was instituted as a temporary fee after the 2008 financial crisis. Since removing the sunset clause that would have let the SIF die a natural death in 2012, the Board of Regents has voted to keep the SIF every April. The SIF is the largest individual fee and partially funds graduate teaching and research assistantships. In short, graduate students are paying to work.

United Campus Workers of Georgia also said "Gov. Brian Kemp and state leaders want to maintain a business-friendly environment 'at the expense of students and workers'."

"Georgia colleges plan furloughs as lawmakers get bad news on economy." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is requesting a 14% reduction in budgets for every state agency. His justification: increased unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic will reduce state revenues. But 14% budget cuts will only deepen the profound unemployment crisis. His actions, both before and after this crisis, reveal his priorities. Kemp and the Georgia political leadership want to maintain Georgia as “business-friendly” at the expense of students and workers.