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To:      Full-time Staff, Part-time Staff
From:  Lisa Stefanko
Re:      COVID-19 Communications for Point Park University Staff
Date:   March 19, 2020

Before communicating today’s guidance to staff, I want to take a moment to offer my sincere thanks to each one of you.  In the past week, the Point Park University community is challenged in a way that we’ve never been challenged before, and each of you has risen to that challenge in remarkable ways that allow our students to continue to be served.  I’m so impressed with the creativity and compassion that you’ve shown to our students and to each other. 

Following the guidance of the Allegheny Department of Health, the University is continuing to move staff to a virtual, remote work environment.  To continue to comply with this direction, no later than Monday, March 23, 2020, the University will implement the following guidelines:

  • Employees necessary for the safety and health of the campus will continue to work on campus in limited capacities.  These positions are listed at the end of this email, and employees in these positions should contact their immediate supervisor to obtain on campus work schedules. 
  • All other employees who are able to work remotely, should immediately discuss their remote work arrangements with their supervisor and should begin working remotely immediately, but no later than Monday, March 23, 2020.  Remote work arrangements may include occasional on campus presence to complete essential functions.  Except for those essential to the health and safety of the campus, employees must have approval from their immediate supervisor and from Human Resources in order to be permitted to return to campus beginning Monday, March 23, 2020.
  • Employees whose position cannot be performed remotely should follow the guidance issued below regarding the pay continuation practices (this is essentially the same guidance issued earlier this week).
  • Employees working remotely must alert Human Resources by completing telework application form to make arrangements.   Human Resources will work with employees to make accommodations and arrangements wherever possible.  Prior to completing the form, employees should discuss their proposed arrangement with their direct supervisor.

These arrangements are in effect until April 10, 2020.  At that time, further guidance will be issued.  If you have any questions or concerns about any of the communications contained in this message, please contact Lisa Stefanko at lstefanko@pointpark.edu or Natalie Rice at nrice@pointpark.edu.  Thank you for your understanding and your continued work to keep the Point Park community safe and healthy.

Pay Continuation Guidance for Employees:

For Full-Time Employees:

  • Employees who can work remotely will continue to be paid as normal.
  • Employees in positions that are essential to the health and safety of the campus will report to work and continue to be paid per normal processes. 
  • Employees whose positions cannot be performed remotely will follow one of  these options:
    • Employees who are essential to the health and safety of the campus but do not come to work because they are concerned about their own, or someone else’s, health and who have accrued time to cover the absence will be able to use sick time, vacation time, or personal days for the absence. 
    • Employees who do not come to work who DO NOT have enough accrued time to cover the absence will:
      • Use all accrued sick time
      • Use all accrued personal time
      • Use all accrued vacation time
      • Go into a negative sick time balance up to a maximum of 10 days.
      • Go into a negative vacation time balance up to a maximum of 10 days.
  • Employees who are sick, and who can NOT work due to their own illness will use sick time, and then short term disability, provided Short-Term Disability (STD) paperwork is completed. This paperwork is available on the University’s Covid-19 information page.

For Part-Time Employees:

  • Part-Time Employees whose position allows for remote work can complete the telework form, and if approved, continue to work remotely. 
  • Part-Time Employees who do not have paid time off to cover an absence and who cannot perform work remotely will remain as employees, but will be unpaid.  Employees in this category can file for unemployment following the guidelines available from https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx

For Student Workers:

  • Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, student workers (including federal work study, apprentices, honors assistants, and general student workers) will no longer be approved to work on campus. 
  • Graduate Assistants who would like to work remotely must obtain approval from Human Resources via the telework application form.
 Positions essential for the health and safety of the campus include:
  • Police Officers
  • Physical Plant, including Engineers, Electricians, Plumber
  • Mail Room – operating on a reduced schedule
  • Housekeeping – operating on a reduced schedule
  • Office of Student Affairs
  • University Nurse
  • University Counselor

To:      Full-time Staff, Part-time Staff, and Student Workers
From:  Lisa Stefanko
Re:      COVID-19 Communications for Point Park University Staff
Date:   March 17, 2020

As a follow up to our last communication issued March 12, please see the following information regarding University operations.

  • Point Park facilities and operations continue to remain open.
  • University academic and remote meeting tools, including Schoology and Teams, continue to be used to minimize in-person meetings.
  • All non-essential Point Park-sponsored travel continues to be suspended.
  • All Point Park employees will be encouraged to work remotely where work responsibilities and duties allow, if the employee has an underlying health condition that causes greater risk, or if the employee is a caregiver to a person at greater risk.  Employees who fall into one of these categories should alert Human Resources by completing telework application form to make arrangements that minimize risk.    Human Resources will work with employees to make accommodations and arrangements wherever possible.  Prior to completing the form, employees should discuss their proposed arrangement with their direct supervisor.

In addition to the guidance above, the University is providing guidance related to payroll and compensation during this time, as following:

For Full-Time Employees:

  • Employees who can work remotely will continue to be paid as normal.
  • Employees whose positions cannot be performed remotely will follow on these options:
  • While the University is operational, employees whose position cannot be done remotely but who come to work will be paid as normal, and should continue to complete timesheets as they normally do.
  • Employees whose position cannot be done remotely, and who can NOT come to work due to their own illness will use sick time, and then short term disability, provided Short-Term Disability (STD) paperwork is completed. This paperwork is available on the University’s Covid-19 information page.
  • Employees who do not come to work because they are concerned about their own, or someone else’s, health and who have accrued time to cover the absence will be able to use sick time, vacation time, or personal days for the absence.  
Employees who do not come to work who DO NOT have enough accrued time to cover the absence will:
  •  Use all accrued sick time
  • Use all accrued personal time
  • Use all accrued vacation time
  • Go into a negative sick time balance up to a maximum of 10 days.
  • Go into a negative vacation time balance up to a maximum of 10 days.

For Part-Time Employees:

  • Part-Time Employees whose position allows for remote work can complete the telework form, and if approved, continue to work remotely. 
  • Part-Time Employees who do not have paid time off to cover an absence and who cannot perform work remotely will remain as employees, but will be unpaid.  Employees in this category can file for unemployment following the guidelines available from https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx

For Student Workers:

Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, student workers (including federal work study, apprentices, honors assistants, and general student workers) will no longer be approved to work on campus.

Graduate Assistants who are working remotely should complete the telework application applicable to all staff employees, and obtain approval from Human Resources for the telework assignment.

Because COVID-19 remains a rapidly developing situation, it is important to check Point Park’s information page regularly.

The best preventive measures for COVID-19 and any communicable disease continue to be the practices you undertake as part of your daily routine:

  • Engage in social distancing
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with warm soapy water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with another person’s saliva, whether in your own living or social environments;
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue; then discard the tissue;
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to support a healthy immune system;
  • If you are not well, remain at home and contact your primary care physician, Student Health Services or a local emergency medical care provider.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the communications contained in this message, please contact Lisa Stefanko at lstefanko@pointpark.edu or Natalie Rice at nrice@pointpark.edu.  Thank you for your understanding and your continued work to keep the Point Park community safe and healthy.

To:      Full-time and Part-time Staff
From:  Lisa Stefanko
Re:      COVID-19 Communications for Point Park University Staff
Date:   March 12, 2020

As a follow up to the message sent form Dr. Hennigan earlier today, please see the following information regarding University operations.

 Effective immediately:
  • Point Park facilities and operations will remain open.
  • University academic and remote meeting tools, including Schoology and Teams, will be used to minimize in-person meetings.
  • All non-essential Point Park-sponsored travel is suspended.
  • All Point Park employees will be encouraged to work remotely where work responsibilities and duties allow, if the employee has an underlying health condition that causes greater risk, or if the employee is a caregiver to a person at greater risk.  Employees who fall into one of these categories should alert Human Resources by completing telework application form to make arrangements that minimize risk.    Human Resources will work with employees to make accommodations and arrangements wherever possible.

The status of these measures will be evaluated every two weeks.

Point Park recognizes such steps will prompt many questions and cause disruption. We ask for everyone to accommodate these changes, engage in and support appropriate personal health measures, support other Point Park community members, and frequently check the university’s COVID-19 website for updated information.

Given that Point Park plans that all University operations will remain in effect, we anticipate the continued employment and benefits for all employees. During this time, the University will seek to continue the employment of its student workers, and a separate communication to Federal Work Study and Apprentice workers will be forthcoming.

The following provides additional information regarding important aspects of Point Park’s COVID-19 response.

SOCIAL DISTANCING: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define social distancing as avoiding crowds and mass public gatherings, and when possible, maintaining a distance of approximately six feet from others. Social distancing also means staying at home when ill, avoiding contact with people who have symptoms of illness, and not shaking hands.

Because COVID-19 remains a rapidly developing situation, it is important to check Point Park’s page regularly, as well as advisories and warnings from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prior to finalizing personal travel plans and undertaking travel.

The best preventive measures for COVID-19 and any communicable disease continue to be the practices you undertake as part of your daily routine, especially during flu season:

  • Engage in social distancing
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with warm soapy water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with another person’s saliva, whether in your own living or social environments;
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue; then discard the tissue;
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to support a healthy immune system;
  • If you are not well, remain at home and contact your primary care physician, Student Health Services or a local emergency medical care provider.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued work to keep the Point Park community safe and healthy.