CUPE 3261 and other unions and labour groups on campus are demanding U of T meaningfully involve us in developing safe reopening policy. We are coordinating with labour and student organizations to ensure safety for all even though U of T has taken the position that they will only meet with us separately.
Unlike other universities, U of T has not yet decided to take Fall 2020 classes online, despite evidence showing that classroom instruction poses a huge health and safety risk for students and various groups of workers on campus. As many of you know, COVID-19 can be spread through airborne transmission, which can be facilitated by large numbers, poor ventilation, and louder talking. Furthermore, the administration has not taken into account the significance of presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission. This means sometimes it is virtually impossible to tell if someone has COVID-19.
The best solution is to assume that everyone could have it. U of T’s current September plan is not safe enough. This means our members could be exposed to a much higher level of risk than they currently are on campus.
As a result, CUPE 3261 and other labour groups have created a petition demanding that U of T put a pause and take Fall 2020 online. This is about the health and safety of everyone. This is about ensuring people do not get needlessly sick. This is also about equity – workers and students, including those who are racialized, experiencing economic insecurity, and more likely to live in cramped housing will face the highest risk of getting COVID-19. That is unacceptable .
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation for all of us. This also means taking unprecedented action. Having less students on campus may be difficult for some of our workers, especially those who are hoping operations return to normal so that work schedules are adequately restored. CUPE 3261 is taking the position that we want safe work for our members. Our members’ well-being is our top priority.
Please sign the petition below to have your voice heard and support us in asking the University to take fall 2020 online. Join us in telling U of T that it needs to listen and work with labour and student groups while developing a reopening strategy.