UNC System workers demand more protection against COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Members of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, UE Local 150 organized a news conference on Thursday in front of the legislative building in Raleigh to ask that the UNC System take action to protect employees and students from COVID-19.

"We just don't feel like it's safe to reopen," said Laura Bray, an NC State graduate student who is involved with the union. "We don't feel like it's safe going into work on campuses and we want to make sure that the health and wellbeing of the workers are being prioritized right now."

UNC System schools have different reopening dates. In the fall, UNC and NC State went virtual after a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Bray teaches online.

"But other of my colleagues, they do research that requires them to be on campus, that requires them to be in shared spaces using shared equipment," Bray said. "I do have a lot of people ... are going back and teaching in person. And we also have members who are frontline essential workers."

The union has a petition, which includes these demands:
  • Remote classes with safety measures for in-person work
  • Limiting on-campus housing
  • Transparency and consistency in COVID-19 case reporting
  • Protecting workers, such as by providing adequate PPE and free and regular testing

UNC System colleges do post information on cases online.

ABC11 has reached out to the UNC System for a response.
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