We wanted to update you on what we collectively have won as workplace protections and security in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we began impact bargaining last month, we have won:
- All expenses related to the testing and treating of COVID-19 for employees who utilize Campus Care or who go to an Emergency Room will be covered at 100%; Urgent Care will be covered at 70%.
- The Counseling Center will provide telecounseling and other services (see https://counseling.uic.edu/news-stories/response-to-coronavirus/). Campus Care has contacted other service providers (Neuro Psych Institute and the Physician Group) and will communicate changes in information to GEO as soon as practicable.
- We originally won 14 days paid leave for those who have Covid-19 or are caring for a family member with it. This was then superseded by the more comprehensive federal mandate that public employees be granted 2 weeks of paid sick leave, 12 weeks of family leave at 2/3 of the employee’s regular pay, and 2 weeks of caretaker or quarantined leave at 2/3 of the employee’s regular pay.
- A commitment that Facilities Management is ensuring that soap and sanitizer will be available on campus and a phone number to report shortages.
- UIC allows employees not required to report to work to perform their work remotely.
- A task force, including graduate students, to work towards a solution for academic and economic security over the summer, particularly international graduate students.
This is directly because of the coordinated pressure we exerted on the university to enact our demands and to do everything they should to provide the resources we need for economic security in the wake of COVID-19.
As such, we are still fighting together to ensure that the task force Dean Colley announced:
1) Provide summer financial support (housing, food stipend, and healthcare) for international workers who are unable to travel home/work outside of UIC due to visa and travel restrictions-more information on what we are doing for our international workers can be found here.
2) Extend degree completion timelines and funding opportunities for all graduate students.
3) Suspend all payments for fees and tuition differentials for graduate students; each employee will be able to develop an individualized payment plan with the University once the suspension is lifted.