(Note: This text is a verbatim copy of the email sent to all UVA hospital workers for online reference)
Dear UVA Hospital Employee,
My name is Ida and I'm a grad student in Anthropology at UVA. I'm also a member of the Steering Committee for our new union, the United Campus Workers of Virginia. Our UVA chapter of UCWVA is a wall-to-wall union, meaning that we are a union in which faculty, staff, facilities, and graduate workers across the institution stand together to fight for a better workplace. To do this work, we need to understand the experiences of workers in the UVA health system, and that means we need to hear from you. Please fill out this brief workplace survey to help us move forward: https://forms.gle/2RM5zPhbb7U2fkZj7
Si usted desea realizar la encuesta en español pulse aqui: https://forms.gle/hegV7a9UtZwmooBa9.
A little bit about the union:
United Campus Workers of Virginia was chartered in August 2020, at the same time as we launched a set of demands about fighting austerity, assuring safety for everyone at UVA, and taking action in solidarity. You can read what those things mean to us on our website’s page for the ActFAST campaign. Broadly, we understand the role of the union to be protecting and promoting the social, economic, physical, and mental well-being of all, especially the most vulnerable and exploited among us, and we understand collective action to be the method by which workers have the power to change our workplace.
One example of this is our recent GoFundMe page, where we have collected donations to be used for PPE for in-person workers across UVA. We have already bought and distributed N95 masks and charcoal filters to make the cloth masks provided by UVA actually effective, and we are continuing to buy and distribute shipments of masks and filters, so if you or an in-person UVA employee you know would like some, please let us know!
We know that unions are not a familiar kind of organization at UVA anymore; please read the FAQs below if you have concerns, and you can also contact the United Campus Workers of VA at email@example.com. If you’re ready to build your strength with your coworkers, you can find our membership form here.
Is it safe to participate?
Your membership in the union is confidential, and your right to be in a union is protected by state and federal law!
What’s expected of union members?
We have monthly meetings to hear how the work is going and decide what to do next. You will never be forced to make your membership in the union public knowledge. You will also never be forced to go on strike.
Does the union always side with the Democratic party?
The union is separate from party politics. If you get a paycheck from UVA and you want to make your workplace safer and more equitable, you’re with us and we’re with you.
What about “right to work” laws in Virginia?
There’s lots we can do as a union even while right to work laws remain in place! For more information about this and other common questions and misconceptions, check out our mythbusting pamphlet.