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Chapter Sends COVID-19 Memo to President Whitten

30 Mar, 2020

Our chapter calls for increased equity and transparency

On March 25, the United Campus Workers of Georgia state-level steering committee emailed members with a list of recommendations for all campuses during the COVID-19 crisis, citing gains in our efforts across the state. Influenced by those recommendations, our chapter sent a memo yesterday to Kennesaw State University President Pamela Whitten to address the gaps in leadership that we’re seeing at Kennesaw State University.

In addition to the president’s cabinet members, the memo was shared with the leadership of the following organizations: American Association of University Professors (AAUP) at KSU, the Chairs and Directors Assembly, the Deans Council, the Faculty Senate, the Part-Time Faculty Council, the Staff Senate, and the Student Government Association.

Of particular interest to our chapter is the issue of the University System of Georgia’s Non-Closure Emergency Leave Procedures (NCELP), allowing university presidents across the state to authorize payment to workers whose job functions have been impacted by COVID-19. Over the course of last week, the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Georgia State University, and Kennesaw State University implemented NCELP. 

This is a win for workers! We applaud this step by President Whitten; however, the lack of a campus-wide announcement about NCELP leaves workers in the dark about how the procedures will be applied. We are hearing stories from some workers on campus whose work hours are impacted and whose health and safety considerations are being ignored.

Among our demands, the memo urges the university to hold three virtual, interactive, and recorded town hall meetings -- one for faculty, one for staff, and one for students -- wherein the administration can take questions, announce important information, and hear from the university community. These town hall meetings would prove to the university community that KSU values its workers and students and is willing to engage with difficult questions about the uncertainty ahead. 

We join other UCWGA chapters across the state by calling on our campus to adopt additional steps to protect the safety and economic security of all workers. These steps include: guaranteeing pay at current wages for all workers; mandating telework for all workers who can do so; eliminating exposure risks for all personnel; expanding eligibility and access to the shared sick leave pool; and refunding parking fees for workers and students.

We call on President Whitten to support ALL KSU workers during this public health crisis. Share this message today with fellow KSU colleagues and ask your KSU supervisor what KSU is doing to protect ALL workers. 

We invite workers to join us on our weekly chapter conference call; the next one is this Wednesday, April 1, at 7.30pm. Contact us for details. You can reach chapter membership by emailing us <ucwga dot ksu at gmail dot com> or finding us on Twitter (@ksuucw).

For more information, please see our press release on the memo.


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