Tracy Harter, a UNC housekeeper for 17 years, said that, to her, UNC is "a place of smoke and mirrors” when it comes to campus safety.
In a meeting organized by The Workers Union at UNC, a chapter of UE Local 150, members gathered in Caldwell Hall Thursday evening to share their feelings about University safety, security and mental health services.
Harter is the vice president of the Workers Union campus workers co-chapter. During the discussion, she said it’s important for the UNC administration to know that workers won't forget about the Aug. 28 shooting in Caudill Labs.
Housekeepers are still waiting for the University to address their two demands from September 2022 – $20 per hour and free parking– despite mounting pressure and numerous public protests.
“20 dollars an hour and free parking is an ask. It’s a need, but it’s an ask,” Harter said. “[Campus safety] is a must. This is a ‘you have no choice’ issue.”
While the Union hasn’t released official demands in connection to campus safety, the meeting provided an opportunity for workers to express their emotions.
Harter recounted her experience with the first lockdown. She said the events didn’t hit her until the second day she came back to work.
“That’s when it really started getting to me. It still does sometimes. It chokes you up,” Harter said.
This isn’t the first time that the UNC Workers Union has advocated for safer campus conditions. Last year, the Union released a statement condemning the University for lead contamination in campus drinking water.