COVID-19 Staff Forum | Questions

COVID-19 Staff Forum
March 18, 2020
  1. As students leave campus, this negatively impacts the staff necessary to provide services for said students (ie. Dining, Facilities, etc). Many staff members, particularly wage workers who cannot perform their jobs remotely, may be subject to loss of hours/work. I know we added Health and Personal days but this is only 10 days, students are gone for the rest of the semester. Can you shed some light on the preparations or discussions being made to accommodate the loss of demand for these type of staff members, beyond the 10 additional HAP days?
  2. If staff members are negatively financially impacted by COVID19 (due to loss of wages whether that is from self-quarantine, loss of demand from employer) can they tap into any emergency funds (ie. CARE fund)?
  3. What do you predict are the long term impacts to staff of COVID19? What are some preparations being made to alleviate any negative long term impacts to the staff?
  4. Does Mary know, when a staff member eventually is diagnosed with a positive case, how the health department works to make sure colleagues are contacted? How do they balance HIPAA concerns with letting people know they’ve been exposed?
  5. Other colleges/universities have relieved their custodial staff due to the high risk environments but Cornell has yet to send custodial staff home or at least some of them.  The risk of sharing this viruses with young children and parents, etc. when the come home at night is a huge risk as they are on the front lines.  Is Cornell going to be moving toward relieving custodians to stay home?  If no, are they are they being protected by having N95 masks available?
  6. Mary, can you please explain the purpose of the extra HAP days and when to use them? I have heard differing ways people are interpreting them.
  7. What steps is the central University administration taking to ensure that all units/departments are providing their staff with guidance and instructions that meet the Federal/State recommendations with regards to workplace conditions?
  8. Why doesn’t Cornell just shut down period? Front line workers are concerned because they feel that they still have to go to work every day because they can’t work remotely like those that have vacated. Trades, Building Care, Dining, and other front like workers don’t feel safe. They also feel that they are taking a chance by going to work, and then returning to their families and possibly exposing them. Many have family members who are in the higher risk group.
  9. If the University closed, what will it be like? Would it be like an inclement weather closing?
  10. I supervise a team of hourly employees.  Will the University be coming out with additional guidance on working from home for hourly employees?  Can we allow team members expanded work hours? Our team members are vital to supporting a transition to virtual work for faculty and academic staff.  I'd like to make sure that my team members can meet the demands of heavy work load during this transition while still accepting the fact that their children may need some daytime attention that may impact the staff's ability to work a 'full time' 7.8 hour day from 8-4:30. 10 extra days of HAP is very generous, but I really do need to be able to use as many work hours as possible from my team during our transition to virtual.
  11. For those colleges/units requiring faculty to come to campus beginning April 6th to record lectures, how will staff who must support that be protected?
  12. Is there an estimate to the number of students who will remain in Ithaca? in on campus housing? in off campus housing?
  13. There’s a call for volunteers to move students out, what tools will be provided to volunteers to ensure they do this safely? Especially since so many parents may come from out of town to pick up students.
  14. Temp employees are not eligible for personal/sick time. Are there plans to provide a safety net to these employees in the event they may get sick?
  15. Are you moving students to one building that will be remaining or will they be scattered through out several buildings
  16. Do you anticipate a mandate for non-essential staff to be required to work remotely? Is there an expectation from the unit staffing plans due Friday that non-essential staff are to physically report to work?
  17. Is there an expiration date on using these 10 sick days?
  18. Are there any plans to make emptied student housing available to local healthcare orgs for potential overages if the situation worsens?
  19. The Campus Life division has been sending emails with the expectation that staff are expected to be working on-campus. I am in this division, my position is not considered essential and I have been on-campus this week with no official timeline to be transitioned to work from home. Meanwhile, I am seeing the remainder of campus desolate of in-person workers and administrative meetings being held through Zoom. Can units be re-encouraged to quickly transition non-essential workers to remote work and is there an expectation from the unit staffing plans due Friday that non-essential staff are to physically report to work?
  20. Is the Pandemic creating any new jobs at Cornell, perhaps in IT, and if so, what are these jobs and how can folks learn about them? What are ways that the Pandemic is making Cornell University stronger? Are there any ways we can volunteer to help, including with the move out?
  21. For those of us who pay to park and are not coming to work, will we be credited or not charged the parking fee?