With the Spring semester starting soon and the pandemic still surging, health and safety concerns are at the front of everyone’s minds—all the more so after President Holloway revealed that he has contracted COVID-19 (we wish him a speedy recovery). Our union is working to keep all of us safe and well, whether you’ve been back on campus already, will return soon, or won’t get back to face-to-face instruction, research, or other work this year.
We’re in regular contact with state officials and the Rutgers administration to make sure our Rutgers unions are represented as new policies are developed and we get more guidance on best health-and-safety practices. Whatever your questions, please remember that you have the right to refuse unsafe work. Our contract enforcement staff has compiled info from a variety of resources—click here to read the Q&A.
The new vaccines that started shipping last month are a source of hope, but we have a ways to go before we will be safe. New Jersey’s vaccination program will proceed in phases, with health care workers and long-term care residents in the first phase; many health care workers affiliated with Rutgers are already eligible. State officials haven’t yet stated who comes next, but we expect Rutgers and other higher ed employees to be in one of the next two phases. We’re continuing to talk to the state about appropriate priorities and will fight to make sure those providing in-person instruction are high on the list to be vaccinated.
Again, please read our union’s Q&A for more information. And on January 26 at 4 p.m., we will hold a town hall meeting on health and safety (click here to RSVP). We’re hoping to have speakers from the national AFT, leaders from other Coalition unions, and health experts. So come with your questions and concerns, and we’ll work together to address them.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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