UVA employees form anti-racism union

UVA Health employees have begun to unionize under an organization that campaigns for "anti-racism."

Though the union claims that the University of Virginia is “too big to fail” and should therefore freeze firing, UVA Health endured tens of millions in monthly budget deficits.

University of Virginia hospital employees are unionizing under an organization that pushes for “anti-racism.”

United Campus Workers of Virginia sent a “Workplace Fairness Survey” to UVA Health employees, according to a November 12 press release

The survey was “confidential,” and informed workers on how to join the union.

Workers cite “top down approaches to management, inadequate staffing and subpar wages as reasons for seeking to organize hospital workers” in the survey, says the release.

United Campus Workers of Virginia is “a union organizing to empower all public college and university workers in the Commonwealth,” according to its website. It has recently been working to “adopt demands from anti-racist and Covid-related campaigns at UVA and in Charlottesville,” the press release states.

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In August, its #ActFastUVA campaign decried the university for doing “too little, too late” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-black racism.

“Austerity, the idea that we must cut spending and save every cent in order to keep UVA afloat, is absurd,” said the union in its list of demands, which included a firing freeze and additional compensation to student employees. “The flagship university of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with ample assets and ways to fund losses in revenue, is essentially too big to fail.”

In April, however, UVA Health announced it was enduring an $85 million monthly deficit due to a drop in clinic visits and scheduled surgeries resulting from COVID-19 policies.

The United Campus Workers also asked the university to support four lists of demands regarding racism and discrimination, which were published in summer 2020 by organizations like Black Lives Matter Charlottesville and the Black Student Alliance.

[RELATED: UVA task force wants to earmark nearly $1 billion for racial equity]

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Virginia and the United Campus Workers for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft