3/27/20 COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Update on stay-at-home guidance for researchers
The UW Office of Research issued updated guidance regarding Governor Inslee’s ‘stay-at-home’ order and what types of workers are still being asked to come in. As a reminder, teleworking is now mandatory for all researchers who can perform their duties remotely. If your research requires your physical presence then you be asked to come into work only if your work is deemed “critical” as laid out in the linked guidelines, such as:
- Maintaining critical equipment
- Caring for animals
- Research that can be reasonably justified as having a possible impact on COVID-19, such as direct biomedical research of COVID-19 or SARS-CoV2, public health research, and social science and humanities research regarding the impact of misinformation, social isolation, and economic impacts from the virus.
- Research that is essential to meet thesis requirements for a final defense in Spring Quarter, or requirements of a new position that has already been accepted
If your research cannot be performed remotely AND falls into one of those criteria your supervisor may categorize you as critical and ask you to continue research. Even in those cases strict safety standards must be adhered to, and the Office of Research has stated, “No graduate student or postdoc will be required to come to their usual place of work during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy time period. Accommodations will be made.”
If you are being asked to come in and you do not feel safe doing so, or if you have any questions about this, please reach out to email@example.com.
PETITION: No layoffs during the COVID pandemic
Support UW staff by telling UW: no layoffs because of the COVID-19 pandemic! Our Local is proud to be a part of a strong coalition of UW unions representing nurses, medical residents/interns, custodians, classified staff, techs, journalists, and others. As stated in previous emails, in response to the COVID crisis, we have initiated discussions as a coalition with UW administration over issues relating to time off, quarantine, staffing time, incident reporting, and more, to ensure that all workers at UW receive needed support in these trying times. And now, our coalition is calling on UW admin to honor its commitment to UW workers and to equity by guaranteeing continued employment and wages for ALL UW employees. You can help by adding your name to this petition today!
Remote access to work materials
As more and more of us are working from home, a number of ASEs and Postdocs have raised concerns about access to internet, laptops, or other technology and materials necessary for completing their work. Both the ASE and Postdoc contracts are clear that the University is required to provide access to the equipment and materials necessary for our work (refer to Article 35 in the ASE contract and Article 33 in the Postdoc contract). If you have any issues accessing materials/services needed for your work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org right away for support.
Academic solidarity network
This current period of social distancing and isolation has led to a period of uncertainty and economic hardship for many ASEs and Postdocs. The Academic Mutual Aid Foundation was co-founded by current and former UAW 4121 members and is a new network meant to connect in-need academic workers with bridge-type funding during times such as these. On the Foundation’s page, you can contribute to the fund or sign up to request aid anonymously. This is another way to extend solidarity with academic workers across the country who may or may not have the same union protections we have here.
PETITION: Rent freeze for 2020!
As the COVID pandemic continues to spread throughout the state, many of us and our community members are facing exacerbated difficulty making rent and utilities payments. Recent measures have been taken in Seattle and Washington State to ban evictions and to ensure utilities aren’t shut off because of non-payment, and these are important steps to ensure the immediate safety needs of vulnerable people. However, a statewide rent freeze would ensure even stronger economic security for everyone — please take a minute today to sign this petition calling for a rent freeze in Washington state through the end of 2020. To get more involved with our Local’s work on housing justice, email email@example.com.
UAW 4121 Joint Council
Monica Cortés Viharo