GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has announced it will extend furloughs through December 2020 as well as plans to reopen its campuses on July 1 in preparation for the fall semester.Latest coronavirus in Wisconsin updatesIn a Thursday announcement, Chancellor Michael Alexander stated the extended furlough plans come as the University continues to manage the financial impacts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. He explains that the plan requires faculty and staff to take unpaid leave, resulting in about $826,830 in savings from June-December 2020.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a disruptive effect on employee schedules, including the ability to take planned time off. Some employees have vacation or personal holidays that must be used by June 30, 2020 or they risk forfeiting those benefits/paid time off entitlements. UW System has recently published SYS 1200- Interim 05, Vacation, Compensatory Time and Personal Holiday Carryover. This interim policy temporarily amends several policies related to the carryover of paid leave to allow employees the option of carrying over these leave balances for an additional year. See more at the HR site.
The University Staff Committee recently petitioned approval on adjusting goals for staff on performance reviews and recording time and effort. The action was approved by campus leadership. See it here:
The COVID-19 impact on the university began during the annual performance review period for University Staff. The University Staff appreciates the deadline extension for performance review; however, some reviews were completed and submitted prior to COVID-19. The pandemic has increased the workload and/or changed the work performed. Many staff members have taken on additional responsibilities to assist with the University’s shift to remote working and distance learning. For employees whose reviews were completed before the shift, the pandemic may result in many performance goals for the upcoming year being difficult, if not impossible, to meet. Staff members could end up in the position where they are working hard, but not toward the goals they – and their supervisors – set for the year. As a result, annual reviews and goal setting must account for the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19.
Furthermore, work and life circumstances for staff may have been altered dramatically. Most University Staff employees are now required to keep a log of hours worked, recording how much time is being spent on each task. For some it is burdensome, with supervisors requiring details down to the minute. For others, a simple list suffices. Many budgets are frozen, which leaves staff without the financial resources they need for their work. Others do not have access to the human resources (i.e. student workers) and physical resources (i.e. equipment) they require. Moreover, the added labor of caretaking for family members, adjusting to an alternative work schedule, setting up a home office, and the overall stress of working and living during a global pandemic could undermine the ability of staff to complete their goals set before this crisis began.
For these reasons, we would like to advise supervisors and campus units to take the following steps when considering work performance and goals for annual reviews, and in requiring documentation for time and effort during the work day.
1) All goals not completed before December 31, 2020 should transfer to next year’s (2020-21) review cycle, unless the supervisor and employee agree that the situation surrounding the pandemic has obviated the goal.
2) Supervisors should encourage employees to discuss with them any new tasks they undertook, outline any temporary increases in workload/responsibilities, and summarize how priorities shifted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic on their self-evaluations.
3) Supervisors should consider new tasks that employees undertook, temporary increases in workload/responsibilities, and how priorities shifted quickly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in their assessments of the employee’s performance.
4) Supervisors and employees should not merely add new goals onto the carryover goals from 2019-2020. Rather, employees and supervisors should work together so that employees have roughly the same amount of goals for 2020-21 as they did for 2019-2020.
5) Recording time and effort worked is useful, especially where there may be distractions in some peoples’ new work environments. However, record keeping should not need to be so detailed that every minute must be recorded. As professionals, University Staff have a commitment both to the University and to our positions in the work that needs to be accomplished.
This recommendation and proposed action is endorsed by:
-Chancellor Mike Alexander
-Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kate Burns
-Senior Vice Chancellor Business & Finance Sheryl Van Gruensven
Statement approved as to form by UW-Green Bay Human Resources
In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, UW-Green Bay has been required to change many facets of its operation. As a result of these changes there are an increased number of fiscal challenges. As a temporary response to this event, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, has authorized the implementation of a variety of workforce reduction and cost saving measures, beyond existing policies. A reminder that UW-Green Bay Human Resources has created a webpage that addresses resources, including EAP, unemployment, furloughs and more.
Have you needed motivation for get moving? How about a wellness challenge. This four-week challenge can be done at home and is free!
At-home fitness program for UW-Green Bay faculty/staff
April 6 through May 3
How it works:
Complete 120 minutes of physical activity a week for four weeks.
Submit weekly minutes online.
Receive a prize!
Types of physical activity:
- UREC at-home workouts or online live classes
- Other workouts or classes
- Walk/jog outside
- Being active with your kids
- Anything that gets you moving!
Contact your co-workers and encourage them to complete this challenge too! Register, here.
As communicated early last week, effective April 1, 2020 additional paid family and medical leave for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency is provided as outlined in SYS 1200-Interim 03, FMLA Expansion and in compliance with the provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. In order to be in compliance with the expanded FMLA provisions, the Office of Human Resources is requesting that all employees who are unable to work (or telework) due to childcare reasons related to COVID-19 reach out directly to email@example.com or 920-465-2390. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions, for more.
In accordance with SYS 1200-Interim 03, FMLA Expansion, additional paid family and medical leave for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency is provided. It also expands the eligibility criteria for this specific type of Emergency Family and Medical Leave in compliance with the provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.
Employees who have worked in the 30 days prior to claiming leave and have a qualifying need related to a public health emergency are eligible for this expanded FMLA. A qualifying need related to a public health emergency means the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for their son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency.
Employees with a qualifying need related to a public health emergency may take up to twelve (12) weeks of Public Health Emergency Leave subject to supervisory approval and the following provisions:
- The first ten (10) days of leave are unpaid.
- If the employee has sufficient accrued vacation, personal or sick leave, then the employee may elect to utilize any of these paid leave options to remain in paid status during these initial ten days. An employee may also elect to use COVID-19 leave during this period, pursuant to UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 02 COVID-19 Leave Policy.
- After the first ten (10) days, the remainder of the leave is paid at 2/3 (66.67%) of the employee’s normal pay, or $200/day, whichever is less.
- An employee may use any available paid leave during this period to remain at 100% of the employee’s normal pay.
The expanded FMLA is not provided in addition to current FMLA provisions. The total time available to an employee for any combination of FMLA leave and Public Health Emergency Leave is twelve (12) weeks. Employees who would like to request the use of expanded FMLA should contact the Office of Human Resources directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (920) 465-2390.
Please see the COVID-19 Leave & FMLA Expansion – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.
Un update from Human Resources, March 19, 2020
“UW-Green Bay continues to work through details related to student employment in light of COVID-19 and will provide updates as we are able. We recognize that this is a challenging time as many of you rely on the income from your on-campus position. Please know that we are working hard to find the best possible solution for everyone as quickly as possible while ensuring our campus communities’ safety remains a priority.
Consistent with the communication sent on March 17, 2020, from Interim Chancellor Van Gruensven, all classes have been moved to alternative delivery through the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to avoid campus when possible. That being said, if you wish to continue working and feel safe doing so, you are able to work as long as work is available. We would strongly encourage you to have a discussion with your supervisor prior to reporting to work. It is important to note that should work that is normally performed within your role not be available you may be reassigned to help another department or area.
On March 17, 2020, the University of Wisconsin System released SYS 1200-Interim 02, COVID-19 Leave Policy which provides additional leave to certain employee groups. At this time, student employees are not eligible for these leave benefits. We are exploring the options of telecommuting for specific student employees based upon job functions, but our first priority as an institution is to ensure that course delivery can be achieved. Updates on this will be shared as they become available.
The entire UW-Green Bay community recognizes that the work student employees perform provides critical benefits for the operations of our institution. We appreciate you and your service. We also recognize that the impact of COVID-19 on your financial health may be stressful and we are working to find solutions and resources as quickly as possible.
For general questions about student employment during this time, please contact your supervisor directly or the Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity at email@example.com or (920) 465-2390. For student emergency fiscal support contact Gboss@uwgb.edu or call 920-465-2111.”
In accordance with SYS 1200-Interim 02, COVID-19 Leave Policy, up to 80 hours of COVID-19 leave (prorated by % FTE) may be made available to employees who cannot perform their assigned duties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency policy implements leave provisions and workplace flexibility options to prioritize the health and safety of the UW System community and provide additional leave for certain UW System employees to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic if employees cannot work.
Employees eligible for COVID-19 leave include those who are unable to work because their job responsibilities are not conducive to remote work (telecommute or telework), self-quarantine, self-isolation, illness, care of an immediate family member, or child/elder care due to school/day care closures. Dean/Division Leaders are working with supervisors to determine which employees are not able to telecommute because of job responsibilities. To request COVID-19 leave based upon an alternative reason (self-quarantine, self-isolation, illness, care of an immediate family member, or child/elder care due to school/day care closures), employees should contact their supervisor.
The use of COVID-19 leave is at the discretion of the Area Leader and employees are subject to recall at any time. In instances where employees are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the type of work they perform but are assigned other duties that CAN be performed remotely, they cannot refuse a reassignment of duties in order to take COVID-19 leave. COVID-19 leave may be approved for intermittent use. Employees who can telecommute but request not to do so (with no alternative reason such as self-quarantine, illness, etc.) are not eligible for COVID-19 leave. If such employees would like to take alternative accrued leave (vacation or personal holiday) or unpaid leave, they must submit a request to their supervisor. Employees deemed “essential” may still be required to report to the workplace and will not be eligible for this leave if they choose not to report.
Details have not been communicated about how COVID-19 leave will be accounted for in HRS. Procedures on how employees should report approved COVID-19 leave through their My UW Portal will be communicated as additional information is available.
At this time (March 13, 2020), UW-Green Bay campuses remain open and essential services will remain available. Employees are expected to report to work. However, there exists a greater need during this time to accommodate requests for flexibility in work relationships, including telecommuting. To that end, UW-Green Bay (in accordance with UW System Interim Policy #1200-01) is providing managers and employees resources in order to work through short term telecommuting arrangements. Please see the available resources below:
- Short-Term Telecommuting Request – Employees may utilize this form to request a temporary telecommuting arrangement. This form must be approved prior to an employee starting the flexible work arrangement. *Those who wish to begin telecommuting on Monday, March 16th will have until noon (12:00 p.m.) on Monday, March 16th to return this form to their respective Area Leader. Area Leaders (cabinet-level positions) have the authority to approve these requests and forms may be routed electronically.
- UW-Green Bay HR Short-Term Telecommuting Guidelines & Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 –This document provides additional guidance related to telecommuting arrangements which may be requested on the Short-Term Telecommuting Request.
- Supervisor Guidance for Managing Remote Workers during Emergency Conditions – UW-Green Bay recognizes the value and benefit of telecommuting in appropriate work environments. This guidance will assist supervisors managing employees working under an approved short-term telecommuting arrangement.
In the event that the number of approved flexible work arrangement or accommodation requests in a particular area results in an office closure, the area must follow the guidance set forth in HR 14-17-3: Office Hours and Institutional Closures Policy. Permission by the Chancellor to implement discretionary closure remains subject to the Area Leaders discretion and will only be implemented in an individual office with both the Chancellor’s permission and area leaders consent.
For more information about flexible work arrangements and employee leave, please see the UW System Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness website.