Takeaway: Bring your questions to our health and safety town hall meeting this Wednesday, August 25, at 5 p.m. (click here to RSVP).
The latest surge of the pandemic, driven by the Delta variant and uneven levels of vaccination, will bring new challenges for all of us when classes begin next week. We need a space to discuss our concerns and learn from our colleagues about how to ensure the health of faculty, students, staff, and the community. Please join us at our Health and Safety Town Hall this Wednesday, August 25, at 5 p.m. Click here to RSVP if you haven’t already.
Here are some of the subjects we will be discussing:
- Return to in-person instruction: We need to know our rights and responsibilities in the classroom and labs when the semester begins. Rutgers has mandated vaccinations for students, and the university masking policy will require use of masks in indoor spaces (other than private offices occupied by one person). Please bring your questions about how to enforce these policies to the town hall discussion. Our colleague, Kenneth Sebastian León, will be talking about the experience of teaching in-person in the spring.
- Vaccine mandate: Last week several Coalition unions reached an agreement for a vaccine mandate for health care and public safety workers. Following our plan that we wrote to you about previously, our union made a proposal for a vaccine mandate for faculty and postdocs in our bargaining units (grad workers are covered by the university’s mandate for students). We met with management and emphasized that this is a priority for our members, as our Executive Council showed when it took the lead on this issue with its statement back in May. We hope management will respond quickly and settle this before the week is out. We will provide the latest update on Wednesday.
- Getting accommodations: A number of you have asked about getting accommodations to work remotely because you have at-risk household members who could be put in danger if you returned to in-person instruction. We want to explain what your union has done and advised in these circumstances.
- Building ventilation: After at first promising to respond to our concerns about ventilation systems on the campuses, management has dragged its feet on providing much information. We’ll tell you what we know and discuss what we can do to make sure our campus buildings are safe.
We hope you’ll come to the town hall meeting to discuss all this. See you on Wednesday at 5 p.m. (click here to RSVP if you haven’t already).
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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