Return to Work FAQ
Yes, the responses identified areas that needed to be addressed. The survey will help facilitate a return to normal on-ground operations consistent with SMC’s COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery. The Roadmap to Recovery has been shared widely with the campus throughout the past year in various forums.
Based on science and public health guidance, the College is offering some on-ground classes for the Fall 2021 semester. This decision was made with input from all constituent groups. To accomplish this objective, the District is preparing the College for the return of students.
The purpose of the President’s Task Force and survey are to identify and draw on lessons learned and to contribute to a blueprint for the SMC of the post-pandemic future. From the beginning of the pandemic, the College has operated on the assumption that we would return to normal on-ground operations when public health guidance indicates that it is safe to do so. SMC’s Roadmap to Recovery clearly outlines this vision.
Here is the recommendation that DPAC made to President Jeffery last October:
“It is recommended that the Superintendent/President establish a broadly-based Presidential Task Force to assess impacts of the remote environment on the SMC student experience, identify practices that generated benefits, and develop plans to integrate beneficial practices into SMC’s post-pandemic environment.”
No, working 100% remotely is not an option for District employees, with the exception of faculty who only teach online classes. It is anticipated that there will be a combination of remote work and on-campus work until the pandemic is over.
All managers and classified employees were hired based on the assumption that they would work on campus. Because of the pandemic, we had no choice but to dramatically reduce the number of students and staff on campus. The College continued to pay all permanent employees even when they were unable to work remotely. Many faculty members have taught online prior to the pandemic and will continue to do so.
The development of a permanent remote work policy is complex and must be based on institutional needs. Some employees may be productive working remotely and others not. Throughout the pandemic, we have heard numerous complaints that employees were not reachable by their managers. In addition, we have heard complaints from classified employees that they have had little contact with their managers.
The development of a new remote work policy will require a detailed examination of what worked and did not work during the pandemic. It will raise a number of issues that must be resolved such as:
- Nature of the work being performed.
- Which other College and HR policies will need to be updated?
- How does the manager effectively gauge productivity of 100% remote employees?
- What should be the minimum required equipment for someone to work remotely and who has the obligation to provide it?
- What internet connection should be required for remote work and who pays for it?
- Ensuring that the work set up does not lead to workplace injuries.
- What monitoring systems are appropriate for remote work (e.g., keyboard tracking, video monitoring).
- Hours remote work is performed. For example, there may be an institutional need to change hours if remote work is approved.
Addressing these questions will take time and will require in-depth discussions with employee unions.
HR may request employee work schedules for documentation purposes. Managers are expected to communicate with their staff regarding staffing and work schedules. The safety plan developed by each area will address staffing and scheduling, including staggered, hybrid and/or flexible schedules until we are fully on-ground.
All staff will be required to undergo training and training stipends are being offered to all employees to assist with compliance. Managers will be made aware of individuals who have completed the training.
The best way for individual employees to be protected is through vaccination. There is currently litigation pending in the federal courts concerning whether an employer can mandate a vaccine approved pursuant to an emergency use authorization. Therefore, due to absent legal authority from the State to mandate vaccinations, the College is currently not doing so.
The College has safely conducted in-person operations throughout the pandemic by adopting and following appropriate safety protocols. It will continue to do so until such time as the pandemic is deemed over.
From the beginning of the pandemic, the College has been governed by science and information from public health authorities. Hundreds of college employees have worked on campus throughout the pandemic in accordance with safety protocols to prevent on-campus transmission of COVID-19.
Fear is a real emotion, affects us all very differently, and for some will take longer to overcome. Efforts have been made to understand the reasons for fear and ensure that the workplace is safe. In the workplace, fear can be addressed through safety protocols and the strict adherence to them.
The College also has an Employee Assistance Program (EASE) for its employees. Your health care provider is also another resource where employees can seek assistance.
The College has had employees working on campus since the beginning of the pandemic. These include employees in Maintenance and Operations, Human Resources, Fiscal and Payroll Services, Events, Auxiliary Services, Police, and many more. All college operations have been reviewed for safety before being undertaken.
SMC’s Roadmap to Recovery sets forth the College’s approach to safety. To date, there has been no COVID-19 transmission on campus; all COVID-19 cases in the SMC community, regardless of their status, have occurred due to off-campus transmission thus far. The College’s infection control plan ensures quarantining and contact tracing in the event an employee reports a COVID-19 illness.
The College recently expanded the number of days for operations staff to be on campus, to ensure daily cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning supplies will also be available in all areas.
The College is laying the groundwork for a return to normal operations. It is critical for managers and eventually other employees to participate in the planning for such return and this requires on-campus work, to get us acclimatized to operating safely to keep ourselves and students safe when they return.
No. To ensure compliance with all employment laws, the College needs to have a uniform policy.
The College has a variety of leave programs available to employees who are unable to work because of individual health conditions or because of the need to care for family members. Please contact HR to discuss your specific circumstance and/or please refer to the HR website.
The College encourages all employees to secure a vaccination and all employees have been eligible for vaccination since March 1, 2021.
All College protocols are designed to ensure a safe workplace regardless of whether the employee, student, or other visitor is vaccinated.
The College has a comprehensive COVID-19 Containment, Response and Control Plan which can be found on the COVID-19 website.
College managers should ensure that all their employees wear masks and otherwise comply with safety protocols. Any employee who refuses to do so should be immediately sent home and HR contacted. If the employee refuses to leave, Campus Police should be contacted.
Campus Police will be responsible for ensuring that campus visitors are complying with our mask mandate.
Faculty should inform students in their classes to wear masks and follow other components of the class safety plan. Students who refuse to comply can be excused from two class meetings and should be reported to Student Judicial Affairs. See the classroom removal policy and report form.
Yes. All ventilation systems have been adjusted to ensure more frequent air circulation and MIRV-13 filters are being installed in all buildings.
We do not envision restrictions on eating in individual offices with the door closed.
Eating in shared spaces will be addressed in safety plans.
All elevators have signage limiting occupancy.
We do not envision the need for parking regulations (e.g., spacing parking).
Each Vice President will oversee walk-throughs/meetings for their areas.
Each area is different, and this will be addressed in campus safety plans. It may not be possible in some areas to have all employees come back on a normal schedule.
Access will be restricted to some areas.
Until the pandemic is over, there will be a combination of on-ground and remote work. In some work areas, safety plans may have some employees continue to work remotely until the pandemic is over. The purpose of bringing employees back on a limited basis is to create safety plans with the participation of all employees.
We need managers to assist in identifying technology needs for their employees. Any department that needs additional equipment should contact IT.
Parking fees are not required through December 31, 2021. No decision has yet been made for 2022.