This email communication is the first of a series of monthly communications the Department of Human Resources will be providing. The monthly communications are intended to provide updates and relevant information as we prepare to return to work and we start the monthly updates by providing a summary of the information presented at the recent Staff Townhall.
On March 23, 2021, the State of California announced that the County of Santa Clara has met the requirements to move into the Orange Tier of the Blueprint For a Safer Economy. The news is an indication that progress is being made in containing and reducing the spread of the virus, many of the social and business activities that are now permitted remain to be high risk. The progress made reflects the patience and persistence of SCU and our larger community and we must continue to be diligent in following the public health and safety guidelines to protect our community from another surge.
COVID & Return to Campus
The health and safety of the campus community are the top priority. We continue to closely monitor developments with the virus and we are cautiously optimistic that the numbers are headed in the right direction. As such, below are important updates related to our gradual return to campus.
- Spring Term (April 1)
- The campus is open to all - outdoors only.
- Masks are required, social distancing is required, and casual gatherings, outdoors only, must be no larger than 25 people.
- There is no change to guidelines and limits regarding the resumption of non-essential business travel for SCU employees (for both safety and financial reasons). Please see the recent announcement from the Provost Office for more information.
- Orange Tier
- Santa Clara County continues to experience high rates of COVID-19 transmission and the danger COVID-19 poses to our community has not subsided. The County Health Officer urges businesses, entities, and residents to continue exercising caution even as certain restrictions are lifted by the State.
- SCU will engage in a slow and cautious reopening. The university reserves the right to be more cautious than public health guidance may dictate.
- Financial Update
- We do not anticipate any staff furloughs through the Summer session. Grant-funded or fixed-term positions with an upcoming end date will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- The 2021-2022 budget proposal is currently under review and is pending approval, which is outside of the typical timeline for this process. We hope to have a decision on the staff merit salary increase (MSI) pool in late April or early May. In anticipation of an approval, HR will be proceeding with salary planning preparation to ensure we are ready to implement an MSI on July 1, 2021.
- The hiring freeze remains in place until further notice and will apply to all open positions with certain mission-critical exceptions approved by the vice president for finance and administration, chief operating officer, and/or the provost.
- Student Employment
The temporary student employment guidelines remain the same: departments wishing to hire student employees must obtain prior approval to hire student employees. Additionally, student employees are not allowed to work remotely unless they have received prior approval. Student employee requests must be reviewed and approved by Lisa Kloppenberg, John Ottoboni, or Michael Crowley.
- Vaccination & Testing Update
- Masks are required indoors and outdoors
- Social distancing is required
- Daily symptom checks are required for those entering our buildings
- To support tracking testing compliance and safety, as indoor spaces slowly open up, a campus COVID passport has been developed (visit the Testing Protocol site for more information) to easily identify as:
- A) vaccinated; or
- B) tested negative in last 7 days; or
- C) tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days
- SCU employees became eligible on February 28th and a number of staff and faculty have been vaccinated or are in the process of being vaccinated. Access to the vaccine is expanding. You are encouraged to visit the SCCPHD website to schedule and to visit the SCU Vaccine FAQ site to learn more about safety and efficacy.
- Vaccination is not required at this time but strongly encouraged. Discussions for the Fall requirements are ongoing.
- Employees who are vaccinated are not required to be tested beginning three weeks after taking the second shot or three weeks after they take the Johnson & Johnson single shot. If you are vaccinated, please visit the on-campus testing site in the Benson Memorial Center, present your original CDC-issued COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to complete your vaccination confirmation. You will receive an email indicating you are exempt from SCU's COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols three weeks after your final shot. This email can be used to show proof of vaccination. Please keep in mind that even for those that are vaccinated:
- Testing is required, according to their applicable tier, for employees who are not vaccinated and who have essential access. At the institutional level, the Santa Clara Health and Safety team will be monitoring participation and compliance with weekly testing and will follow up with those community members who are not participating in the testing program however supervisors have been asked to monitor and ensure compliance with required testing at the local level. Proof may be shown in the form of a text message or an email from our two testing labs. Testing is not required for “grab-and-goes”.
- Only those positions requiring essential access on campus will return in the Spring quarter. For these individuals, this means their work cannot be performed remotely, fully or partially, and it is absolutely necessary to come to campus. All others who can perform work remotely shall continue to work from home until further notice. Many SCU buildings remain closed. This will likely extend to the end of the academic year.
- With approval from cabinet members, and in consultation with the senior leaders, supervisors must submit their lists of employees to Sean Collins for essential access to campus prior to April 1st. This step must be completed before the employee may return. Those approved for spring quarter essential access will be notified with details about their approval.
- Those individuals that do return must follow safety protocols including daily symptom check (required by county), testing based on applicable tier (or elect vaccination), masks, frequent hand washing, workspace cleaning and disinfection, and social distancing. See the How We Work website for more information, resources, and direction.
- Operations/EHS are available to consult on physical spaces (i.e. plexiglass barriers, distance dots, determining room occupancy limits, signage, etc.). As each building is opened, safety precautions are being taken (ventilation, water pipes, etc.)
- Noncompliance with safety protocols is being taken very seriously and will be treated as a performance issue for employees. Reports of non-compliance will be sent to supervisors for staff and dean/Provost for faculty. HR is available for consultation. For students, Student Life will address noncompliance. For students in residence halls, the 3-strikes-you’re-out rule applies.
- Leaders and supervisors should continue to be flexible and creative as we transition back to campus to the extent possible.
- HR is available to consult with employees to discuss potential options and benefits, if there are special needs and/or circumstances that inhibit their ability to return to campus.
- After further review, it has been decided not to require parking passes for Spring Quarter. Those who purchased parking passes for Spring Quarter will receive refunds.
- Due to the nature of our core business as a residential campus, we anticipate that all employees will eventually return to work on campus. The University will continue to review long-term telecommuting and assess the options.
- KOC - Reopening
As SCU students, faculty, and staff begin to transition back to campus, Kids on Campus (KOC) child development center will also begin preparations to reopen on May 3, 2021. KOC will begin with a phased-in approach, with reduced capacity and operating hours to ensure compliance with all state and local guidance for early childhood programs. The KOC administrators will reach out to returning and waitlist families with enrollment information and updated policies and procedures. Families not on the waitlist can find the application here. Please email questions to the KOC Office.
An HR Supervisor Town Hall will be scheduled in mid to late April to prepare for a gradual return to campus. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.
Department of Human Resources
500 El Camino Real