New University of Virginia employee union announced, pushes for online classes

New University of Virginia employee union announced, pushes for online classes
A new union is pushing for increased worker protections at UVA. (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A new union is hoping to bring together employees of all kinds at the University of Virginia to push for more transparency and worker protections.

The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia, is made up of graduate students, undergrad workers, faculty, and staff from across the school. The group is coming together now to push for the school to abandon its hybrid class model and move entirely online.

They say that the risk of transmitting the disease is too great to take a chance on in-person classes.

“There’s a demand base on what we have seen at other universities, and the general predictions to what this semester will be like,” Union member Rosa Hamilton said. “[As] we’ve seen at UNC and other places, when universities try to reopen, the cases of COVID-19 start rising.”

The union also has longer term goals for the semester. It hopes to activate more membership, achieve more financial protections for workers at the school, and a firing freeze.

It is also asking the university to implement free widespread COVID-19 testing.

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