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[WPR] Wisconsin Colleges Push Ahead With Reopening Plans As COVID-19 Cases Surge

Over the next month, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin college students will return to campus as the state continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be masks, social distancing and even smartphone apps aimed at limiting new outbreaks.

But while there are students eager to regain some form of in-person learning, a number of instructors and staff are concerned about their safety.

Read the full article by Rich Kremer from August 5, 2020.

Statement from the UW-Madison University Labor Council on Smart Restart

August 5, 2020: We are the University Labor Council, a coalition of unions representing workers throughout UW–Madison. We are food service workers, trades workers, academic staff, faculty, custodians, non-academic staff, and graduate-student workers. The University works because we do: we disinfect dorm rooms, feed and educate our community’s young adults, ensure that the university is fiscally responsible, and build safe and efficient infrastructure. Every working day, we give our skills and our time in service to the Wisconsin Idea.

[WORT] Labor Radio for July 31

University staff are raising safety concerns about the reopening of campus for the fall semester. As has been widely announced, UW plans to begin the fall semester with in-person instruction for many courses until the Thanksgiving recess. Each department will arrange for the type of instruction they will be providing. After Thanksgiving, UW-Madison will switch to an all virtual format. 

[27 NEWS] Survey: Majority of UW staff uncomfortable to return to campus

A survey of staff at UW-Madison shows an overwhelming majority are uncomfortable returning to work on campus this fall.

The United Faculty & Academic Staff (UFAS) Local 223 and the Teaching Assistant Association (TAA) released results of a recent survey this week. Of more than 400 faculty and staff who responded, 86.4 percent reported feeling uncomfortable with the university's plans.

See the full report by Jennifer Kliesr from July 28, 2020.

TAA-UFAS Worker Safety Survey Summary

What does the survey tell us?

Simply put, UW-Madison workers are uncomfortable with the administration’s plan to bring students back to campus:

86.4% of all respondents across campus reported feeling either extremely uncomfortable or uncomfortable.

Worker Health and Safety Survey

Dane County continues to see record high numbers of new COVID cases, news from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement threatens our international students and co-workers, all while administration moves forward with plans for students to be back on campus this fall. We know that many in the campus community—faculty and academic staff, grad and student workers, administrative and blue collar employees—are deeply concerned about worker health and safety in light of these issues with a variety of questions and suggestions.