100 signatures reached
To: Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Vice-Chancellor and President, ACU
Postpone ACU Return to Campus
We call on ACU to immediately rescind the plan to return to campus on February 14 and instead consult with its staff about strengthening ACU’s protection against COVID-19. By sitting down and talking with us, we can come up with the best way to make sure that we can continue to work in a way that is safe and sustainable.
At a minimum these measures should include:
• clear communication with staff and students about obligations to use QR codes, socially distance, where masks where social distancing is not possible
• ensure campus safety by employing staff to undertake health and safety monitoring
• encouraging all staff, students, and contractors on site to be vaccinated;
• continuing to facilitate working from home;
• improvements in ventilation including filtration;
• the introduction of Rapid Antigen Test (RATs); and
• improved and fit tested (P2 or N95) masks for those who cannot work from home.
Why is this important?
In 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of disappearing and presents more risks to health and safety than ever before. New variants like Delta and Omicron are tearing through our community and workplaces. With the risk of workplace transmission ever-increasing, we need strong measures to keep COVID-19 as far as possible from spreading within our university community.
As numerous examples have shown, an outbreak at a workplace like ours where there are so many individuals coming and going can have disastrous consequences. Teaching delivery and research can be disrupted or even halted entirely, but the worst effects will be felt by us, the workers. We ask that ACU takes steps to limit the impact by consulting staff and implementing sensible measures.
ACU senior management has arbitrarily set February 14 as the date for staff to return to campus. However, they have failed to undertake genuine consultation with staff regarding the potential risks associated with the return to campus and how these risks may be controlled. This has been highlighted by the fact that the University only released its COVID Risk Assessment document for consultation on February 10, just two business days prior to the return to campus.