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This after­noon, a coali­tion of five unions repre­senting Univer­sity of Washington (UW) employees met near Harborview Medical Center to partic­i­pate in a 20-minute Unity Break to show the UW that the employees stand strong and united against the UW’s lack of commit­ment to the safety of their staff. As high-risk workers, we have been pleading for safer working condi­tions, but UW continues to ignore our simple requests. Today, we made our voices heard for the safety of all employees.

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The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion, SEIU Local 925, SEIU Health­care 1199NW, AFSCME Council 28 WFSE and the UW Houses­taff Associ­a­tion worked together to secure COVID-19 related MOUs to protect UW staff during the crisis. These MOUs included re-deploy­ment pay of $4/ hour, protec­tions for vulner­able popula­tions, security for those with COVID-19 exposure and confirmed cases, telecom­muting options for employees, free parking, appro­priate PPE and other workplace concerns. This coali­tion approached UW for an exten­sion on these MOUs, and they have declined to re-sign the agree­ments. The current date of expira­tion is Friday, May 15 (tomorrow).

The coali­tion continues to fight for these MOUs to be extended, as well as additional requests that we are hearing from our members:

  • Plexi­glas to protect workers in high traffic areas
  • Hazard pay for front line workers
  • Job protec­tions for the furloughs UW announced on May 11.