We Demand Immediate Safety Measures for UIC Workers in the time of COVID-19

UIC-COVID-UPDATE (1)Brothers and sisters,

We regret to inform you that we recently lost another UIC staff member, our own union brother, to Covid19. We believe this highlights the seriousness of protecting all workers from this virus. As your union stewards, we have been fighting daily to protect our co-workers on the front line. While there have been some improvements, we still see many essential staff across UIC who are putting their health and lives on the line every day without proper protections.

It’s time to address these shortcomings and demand that UIC take immediate action by providing universal PPE & testing for all staff. We are sharing a letter below that we sent last Friday to the entirety of the UIC Administration, but now you need to take action. Join us in demanding that UIC take immediate steps to provide universal N95 masks & testing for all staff by taking action here.

Solidarity,

Your union stewards


To UIC Administration,

In light of the tragic death of a UI Health RN recently, the revelation that 174 hospital workers so far have tested positive for Covid19, and for those who lie in ICU beds or have already lost their lives to Covid19, we, the SEIU Local 73 UIC Stewards, demand that UIC do the following in order to protect workers at UI Health and on UIC campuses:

  • Universal PPE Standards for all workers — this means all employees providing patient care in UI Health Hospital and Clinics will be gowned, goggled or shielded, and provided proper N95 masks. All essential workers on campus will be provided nitrile gloves, proper masks, and ready access to alcohol based hand sanitizer and cleaning agents. 
  • Universal free Covid19 testing for any employee who requests it whether symptomatic or not.
  • All Workers who can be working at home will be working at home throughout the shelter in place order.
  • Workers who must work on campus or in the hospital will be given time to perform self care to keep their own immune systems strong by being fairly rotated through Excused Absence With Pay (EAP).
  • Individual workers and the union will be notified of potential exposure to Covid19 as soon as the employer learns of it.
  • UIC will post appropriate signage and notification regarding all changes in policies and procedures in response to the pandemic, including but not limited to the above points.
The workers who have lost their lives have been unwilling martyrs of Covid19 likely because of their work for the University of Illinois. Their deaths show that the potential health hazards of working at UIC may not be limited to certain units of the hospital. The RN who lost her life yesterday did not work on a Covid unit, nor did many of the 174 hospital workers who have tested positive for Covid19 so far. Proper PPE may have saved their lives. We make these demands so further deaths of our co-workers can be avoided.
Sincerely, 
SEIU Local 73 Members at UIC
 
Omar Abdullah
Julio Bautista
George M Blackwell
Vicki Bolf
Patrick Brooks
Michael Carr
Lester Coney
Daniel Culliver-Dodd
Kerry Davis
Grisel Romero Delgado
Kim Featherston
Allen Flanagan
Armando Flores
Ara Gardner
Sharon Geddis
Marcia Hargrove
Joe Iosbaker
Cathleen Jensen
Monica Jones
Melissa Koehl
Hilario Lalo Lechuga
Jonna McHugh
Sara Myrick
Tashay Myrick
Andre Reed
Anesha Spencer
Vee Steward
Alicia Uwumarogie
Andre Reed
Yolanda Rodriguez
Angelina Ross
Ryan Sison

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