Bargaining Update – July 11, 2022

The Day and DGCE bargaining teams met on Monday, July 11 for negotiations addressing masking and other COVID-19 provisions. We are scheduled to meet again on Friday, July 22nd from 9:30-12:00. You may sign up as a silent bargaining representative here.

Once again- a very enthusiastic THANK YOU to all of our silent bargaining representatives!  You are all so very appreciated and your support illustrates our collective power and enables our committee to better represent membership in our bargaining demands.

At the bargaining session, the MSCA Day and DGCE teams presented our proposed memorandum of agreement (MOA). Our proposal integrates the mask and vaccine mandates along with several other proposals meant to address the continued realities of teaching and working in a pandemic.

While the nature of the pandemic has changed over the past years, we recognize that the consequences of COVID-19 are still with us. We feel these in the rise of new variants and spikes in infections and reinfections; in the continued risks to many of our most vulnerable colleagues, particularly with the realities of waning immunity and Long-COVID; and overall in the continued uncertainty about the future. Nevertheless, one thing we do know, is that the pandemic will continue to have influence on our working lives as we consider our own individual health, seek protection for our communities, and accommodate students and others during times of illness.

Given this, our proposals seek to provide members with tools they need to navigate this future, to limit disruptions to teaching, learning, and work, and to enhance campus health and safety.

Here we are seeking:

  • That members have the chance to make important decisions based on their own health and risk-level, and that of their families by:
    • Allowing members to require masking in their classrooms and workspaces;
    • Allowing members to limit exposure through remote office hours and hybrid meeting options; and
    • Allowing members who are at high-risk for severe disease and death the option to work remotely should they choose.
  • To ensure broader campus safety measures are shaped by health evidence and campus member voices by:
    • Utilizing data to determine universal masking requirements; and
    • Enlarging campus health and safety committees for inclusive representation and shared governance power
  • To create a working environment that can best limit disruptions to teaching and learning by:
    • Allowing members to work remotely during any required quarantine period if they choose;
  • To enhance campus and community safety by:
    • Encouraging members and others in the campus community to test and report positive results to the university;
    • Encouraging members to stay home when sick by offering paid leave during any required quarantine period; and
    • Asking the administration to assess indoor air quality and address areas where this may be lacking.

At the table management’s position has been that it is time to move beyond “crisis mode.” While we recognize the need to adapt to changing circumstances, we hope that moving beyond “crisis mode” does not suggest that we have no need to prepare for the future. We believe that our proposal situates us well to recognize the realities that COVID will continue to interrupt our working lives and create uncertainty for our communities, while providing the tools needed to navigate those disruptions and uncertainties as we head into the coming academic year.

I encourage you all to please read the Union’s proposal and consider joining us as a silent representative for our next bargaining session on July 22. (Reminder to be sent next week as well!).  Your participation is greatly appreciated!

Thank you all again!

Your Day and DGCE Bargaining Teams