As Colleges and Universities Brace for Reopening, United Campus Workers Mobilize for Workers and Students

From possible budget cuts to the problems of safely reopening, COVID-19 presents enormous challenges for campus workers. In response, members of CWA District 3's United Campus Workers (UCW) locals are mobilizing to protect workers and students.

In Kentucky, members are using an open letter campaign to call for a more just higher education system. "Ultimately, institutions are only as strong as their most vulnerable members," the letter reads. Already, their work has forced the president of the University to take a 10% pay cut, in line with the local's demands that any and all cuts come from the top.

CWA Local 3265 members in Georgia led a letter campaign to defeat state legislation HB959 which would have given more tax cuts to Georgia's wealthy, even as cuts are being contemplated to vital services. The members are now writing letters to increase higher education funding, and have written publicly to urge passage of the HEROES Act for state and local government funding to stop the developing budget crises.

In Louisiana, UCW members are fighting for a better deal for their students by circulating a petition to extend the deadline to apply for CARES Act support. Louisiana State University had a deadline that was much earlier than most schools in the country, and members are worried this unnecessarily prevented many of their graduate student members and the students they teach from accessing critical funds.