Information for Staff
Please check back frequently for updates and additions throughout the summer months.
TIMING FOR FALL SEMESTER
When will staff be returning to their offices and who will be in-office vs continuing to work from home?
Staff who can continue to work remotely, should continue to work from home. We are currently not permitted to exceed 50% of our normal operating capacity. Eastman HR is working with all department managers to develop a Fall return to work plan that will include some on-site presence and some continued remote work arrangements or a combination of both.
Who determines which staff returns to the office who is allowed/must work from home?
Managers are having individual conversations with HR and leadership regarding staffing and all decisions regarding coverage for individual areas and offices will be communicated to employees by their managers.
How should in-person meetings be conducted?
If absolutely necessary, for in person meetings, all parties must maintain 6 ft between them and wear masks. If this cannot be done due to space constraints, the meeting should be done via zoom. All meetings should have option to participate via zoom and not require in-person attendance.
What if I don’t feel comfortable returning to the office?
Individuals should have conversations with their manager regarding return-to-work and individual department or office requirements for staffing. Employees should consult with their manager and Eastman HR to review specific concerns about resuming on-site work.
For offices/suites- will there be guidance as it refers to physical spaces/limitations?
Facilities and Kevin Gibson will reach out to any department or office where spacing concerns or challenges apply to individual office suites or locations. All employees should maintain 6 ft distancing at all times and be wearing masks. To accommodate density requirements, we are operating at 50% capacity. More formal guidelines will be forthcoming from University of Rochester.
What is the policy for visitors and guests to offices and office suites?
All offices are given flexibility to determine their comfort level with locking office suites or offices to outside “guests” or members of our Eastman faculty/staff. An office may choose to lock their suite and only allow entrance to those with an appointment, and who are wearing masks, so long as there is at least one person available for meetings during the core office hours.
Restrictions on outside visitors coming to campus
In order to limit campus density, only essential visitors with formal appointments in units and invited guests with prior approval will be allowed to visit any facility at the River Campus and the Eastman School of Music Campus. Formal visitors and invited guests should have an obvious and documented relationship that overtly furthers the University’s academic and/or research mission. All approved visitors and guests will be required to complete the University’s COVID training and conduct daily symptom tracking. Casual guests and non-essential visitors are prohibited from these locations. Students may not host visitors or guests during fall semester.
All formal visitors and invited guests must register with the University to ensure that COVID-related training and University expectations regarding PPE is conveyed. Visitors and guests arriving from locations requiring quarantine by NYS or other health agencies must adhere to these quarantine requirements before coming onto campus.
Admissions tours will be adapted to maintain physical distancing for spaces on campus and student and guest numbers will be capped. Records will be kept regarding the staff and visitors in each session each day in the event that information is needed for subsequent contact tracing.
Will Fall Classes Start on time?
The fall semester will begin in Rochester on Wednesday, August 26. In order to complete the required number of days for the fall semester (a requirement of accreditation and financial aid regulations) we will:
- eliminate Fall Break;
- complete the on-campus instructional portion of fall semester on November 25 before Thanksgiving; and
- everyone will finish the semester online with 2 weeks of course-related activity after Thanksgiving, including exams.
When will the campus reopen?
Eastman was given approval to reopen all campus building with the exception of the Student Living Center, which is expected to be approved to reopen in the next 2-3 weeks.
For our faculty and staff members, the reopening of the campus means:
- Faculty members will be able to use their offices/studios providing they have completed the one-time, required COVID-19 training available on MyPath, and the Dr. Chat Bot health screening every day prior to coming to campus. In addition to these requirements, faculty members accessing our facilities are asked to provide notification to Kevin Gibson as he is responsible for monitoring building density levels. In-person teaching continues to be prohibited because we are not yet able to accommodate student access.
- Staff members currently working from home should continue to do so. Information regarding the return of all university staff members to campus is being developed by Human Resources and will be provided as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, staff members may come to campus and access their offices if needed, however day-to-day work should still take place remotely. Coming onto campus requires the completion of the one-time, required COVID-19 training available on MyPath, and the Dr. Chat Bot health screening every day prior to coming to campus. Additionally, staff members are asked to provide notification to Kevin Gibson.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Who will be monitoring member of the community congregating and/or who will be ensuring that everyone follows physical distancing protocols?
The University of Rochester has rolled out the “COVID-19: Community Commitment” for students, and a similar document will be available for employees very soon. These documents will require all members of the community to pledge that they will follow appropriate physical distancing and other COVID/PPE guidelines. There will also be a central website where community concerns can be shared, which will be rolled out shortly.
What is the process if a member of our community tests positive for COVID? How are we notified, or not, as members of the community?
Please refer to this page.
What safety precautions and changes will we see in our buildings?
Changes include directional signage and distancing markers along with general signage; the disabling of water fountains; reductions in seating in common areas; the reduction of sinks in restrooms (to promote distancing); the disabling of restroom hand dryers (replaced by touchless paper towel dispensers); and added hand sanitizer/cleaning supplies/PPE throughout our buildings. As a reminder regarding PPE, the University’s policy on face masks states:
Procedural or cloth face masks are required in all common areas (hallways, restrooms, break areas). Face masks must be worn in indoor public spaces any time there is more than one person in a given space, including times of brief interaction between co-workers or friends, and anytime another person is within six feet. Masks must be worn outdoors when 6-foot separation is not feasible. Employees working alone do not need to wear a mask. Masks will be provided to all students, faculty and staff.
Will the University/Eastman be providing masks?
Masks will be made available on an ongoing basis as needed to all faculty, staff and students in alignment with University of Rochester guidelines. In addition, we will be issuing cloth masks with the Eastman logo to all undergrad and graduate students and all full time faculty and staff on a one-time basis.
What kinds of PPE will be distributed to offices/suites?
Basic supplies in each suite will be provided from facilities. Should you need more, please contact facilities to request. During off-hours, facilities customer service number will be available and campus safety officer will be able to provide materials.
For equipment that is not easy to clean such as control rooms- will gloves be used, or UV lights to clean those?
UV light will be implemented in some instances as a component of portable air purifiers.
What kind of mechanical aspects have been done as far as air filtration? Specifically, regarding the annex?
Ventilation will be maximized where possible, as well as improved filtration where possible, with limitations due to the age of our systems. Individual concerns should be addressed to Kevin Gibson.
Will stairwells be specific to which direction they are to be used for?
We’ve reorganized entry to the main building- similar to Kilbourn (direction signage for one way on and one way out). Bridges to Annex will be one way. We don’t currently have other accommodations in our stairwells, as for brief periods of passing this should not pose a safety risk with everyone wearing masks.
REMOTE WORK, VACATION AND TRAVEL
How will the copy center be monitored?
Plans are currently being developed.
Will any programming that staff assist with be cut for fall semester, such as recording sessions or Jazz media, due to space limitations?
At this time, no changes have been finalized.
Will all employees at Eastman be brought back from furlough by the end of August?
Yes, all employees will return from furlough by the end of August. The date identified for individual employee for return to work will be honored, if not occurring sooner. Individual concerns should be addressed to your individual manager and/or also Elaine Tennity in HR.
Are we planning to have our student workers continue their work as planned this fall?
We are moving forward with student workers assisting individual offices. Guidance will be forthcoming to managers regarding hiring as well as specific protocols for social distancing and changes to any current physical locations.
Remote Work Guidelines
As of 6/26/20 the Finger Lakes Region is scheduled to start Phase 4 of New York State’s regional reopening plan. This is the final phase of the state’s reopening process, however many operating and activity restrictions are still in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our region.
The University continues to require that those employees working from home continue to do so unless approved to return by leadership. Essential staff in areas including public safety, facilities, dining services, residential life, and in some research facilities who are approved to restart or who are responsible for continuing operations at the University may be working on campus. Read more.
- If returning, employees need to screen themselves using Dr. Chat Bot prior to coming to campus.
- All employees on University (non-Medical Center) campuses need to complete the COVID-19 Safety Training available in MyPath. This mandatory training should be completed even prior to having plans to return to campus.
With the exception of University medical and clinical care facilities, the University continues to be closed to outside guests or visitors until further notice. Those who must visit campus—vendors and service personnel who are essential to campus operations, for example—must wear masks when in public spaces and maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
Have questions about working remotely? View this FAQ for answers.
Vacation Policy: Updates on Accruals
In light of work disruptions caused by the crisis, the University wants to ensure that faculty and staff maintain access to earned vacation time so that it is available when they are able to use it. The following changes have been made to the accrual policy:
- At the beginning of the first full pay period on January 1, 2021, a maximum of one and a half year’s (1.5 year’s) accrual may be carried forward. During the year, vacation accruals will continue.
- At the beginning of the first full pay period on January 1, 2022, a maximum of one and a quarter year’s (1.25 year’s) accrual may be carried forward. During the year, vacation accruals will continue.
- At the beginning of the first full pay period on January 1, 2023, the University will return to the standing policy which allows for a maximum of one year’s accrual to be carried forward.