GTFF Demands Safer Working & Learning Conditions Through Protest: and SUCCEEDS

Art by Fern

We, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, make the following demands of the University of Oregon to maintain the health and safety of workers and students on campus:

Increase Remote Instruction Options

• Move all courses remote, when applicable, until cases in Lane County decrease to low transmission levels as determined by the CDC (50 cases per 100,000 people);
• Expand options for remote classes during Spring term to allow students and instructors who feel unsafe to have remote learning and teaching options;
• Eliminate requirement for instruction to be delivered in multiple, synchronous modalities (i.e., in-person and via live broadcast via Zoom);
• Eliminate requirement to record in-person instruction to allow instructors the choice to plan asynchronous methods that work best for their courses.

Improve In-Person Protections

• Maintain a paid, 10-day quarantine and isolation period for those who test positive, in line with current scientific evidence;
• Allow GEs to elect into remote work as needed for underlying health risks for COVID-19;
• Provide hazard pay at 1.5x the normal rate of pay for those required to work in-person, especially in the case that work takes place in shared spaces;
• Require the use of and provide all UO employees and students with N95 or KN95 masks on campus;
• Increase on-campus testing capacity and require weekly testing for in-person/on-campus employees and students, regardless of vaccination status;
• Implement a booster clinic or otherwise provide COVID vaccine boosters on-campus;
• Provide clear, actionable instructions and standardized guidelines to all supervisors and principal investigators (PIs) to encourage students and employees to not come to campus if sick/exposed and refrain from any form of pressure (direct or indirect) to do otherwise;
• Direct all unit heads to encourage GEs/students to report violations of standardized guidelines;
• Re-assign any courses that remain in-person to empty university classrooms and lecture halls to maximize social distancing.

Provide Transparent Public Data

• Implement notification processes that informs all close contacts and affected employees within 24 hours of exposure, as required by OSHA;
• Publish daily all active cases reported on campus (including tests done off-campus) in a manner that is clear and accessible, with complete data within 24 hours each weekday;
• Provide clear thresholds for when policy changes affecting instruction and/or GE working conditions will be modified or introduced.

Engage Workers and Students in Decision Making

• Enter negotiations with the sole representative of GEs (i.e. the GTFF) when changes to their working conditions outside of the GTFF CBA are proposed, as required by the CBA and by the Employee Labor Board.

• Form a labor and management working-group that provides staff, faculty, GEs, and students with decision- making power on university operations that impact the entire campus community, such as how and when we return to a greater in-person campus community.

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