GEO + COVID-19 at UMB

GEO Membership Survey

GEO needs to hear from you! How is this crisis and the university’s response affecting you? What do you need from us. Please fill the survey out as soon as you can!

UMass Unions United Petition

We are asking all members of the UMass community to sign this petition demanding UMass Boston prepare and adequately protect its community and workers.

Union Coalition Proposals

Management’s goals, as we understand them, are to:

  • keep the University fully functioning: courses will run, students can access services (both on campus and at a distance), library will be open, food will be available
  • close all student housing and the cafeteria
  • minimize the number of people on campus and practice as much social distancing as possible
  • (are all students being told to stay away from campus? Will work-study students all get paid throughout this time?)

Based on this, we believe the campus needs to agree to the following policies for as long as we are in this COVID emergency:

  1. Allow any employee*, essential or not, who is at high risk due to their own health or an immediate family member’s/housemate’s health to not come to campus. If their work can be done at a distance, then they should be provided with the equipment/internet to work from home. If their work cannot be done at a distance, they should be allowed to stay home and not work. They should remain fully paid and benefited, without using any of their own earned time.
  2. Employees whose work requires them to be on campus, and any essential personnel required to come to campus, will:
    a. Be allowed to park for free in all on campus lots (to reduce the use of public transportation and shuttle buses)
    b. Be provided with hand sanitizer, wipes and other cleaning supplies so that they can ensure their work environment is as virus-free as possible
    c. Be allowed to restrict access to their office of anybody (student or coworker or visitor) who is coughing or appears feverish, or who is known to have returned from travel (domestic or international) within the last 2 weeks, or who is know to have already be required to be self-quarantined. The employee should report the presence of any such people to University Health Services so they can be followed up on.
    d. Any such employees whose work areas are in close proximity (6 feet) to others, will be provided with alternative work locations on campus.
    e. A supervisor will be available on site in any area where classified or
    professional staff are working on campus.
    f. Any employee can appeal a determination that their work requires them to be on campus. The appeal will be heard by HR with the union present.
  3. Employees whose work can be done at a distance, may choose to work from home. They should be provided with equipment/internet to work from home. Due to circumstances, usual workloads and expectations should be reduced. Their supervisors will set up a way to check in regularly.
  4. Employees will be required to stay home and self-quarantine under the following circumstances:
    a. They have been exposed to another person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or who is symptomatic (e.g. fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, tiredness)
    b. They have an immediate family member/housemate who has been exposed to another person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or who is symptomatic
    c. They themselves, or an immediate family member/housemate are displaying symptoms or have a confirmed case of COVID-19
    d. They have school-aged dependents whose school has been closed due to COVID-19
    e. That they fall under a self-quarantining order issued by a physician,
    Commonwealth of MA, CDC, or public health agency.
  5. Any employee required to self-quarantine will not be required to work, but will remain on payroll with full benefits, and without use of their own earned leave time.
  6. Each union will be provided with a list of all bargaining unit members now deemed to be essential personnel. Any employee can appeal their designation as essential to HR, with the union present.
  7. A list of all students and employees who are required to self-quarantine will be updated and made available daily to all employees. All of these individuals must be notified that their self-quarantine status will be shared.
  8. Students and employees are not required to provide medical documentation of their health status.
  9. Cleaning of the campus:
    a. Any area where an individual with symptoms or with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been will be shut down (evacuated) and be thoroughly cleaned prior to being reopened.
    b. Specialized areas (e.g. laboratories, facilities, non-offices, etc.) will be thoroughly cleaned
  10. No costs incurred due to University decisions shall be borne by the employee.
  11. If at any time the University decides to close the campus, no non-essential employees will be required to work remotely.
  12. Leadership of all unions will be notified prior to the announcement of any changes to University operations during this emergency.
  13. Suspend grievance deadlines for filing for the duration of this emergency.

    *Employees include all bargaining unit members including graduate student employees, nonunit employees, CC/03s, etc., regardless of their place of work.