Updates on coming to work, staying healthy and impacts on UCOP operations

* * UCOP OFFICES ON TELECOMMUTE STATUS DUE TO “STAY HOME” ORDERS * *

 

April 2, 2020: An important update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava

March 27, 2020: A letter of thanks from President Janet Napolitano

March 26, 2020: Answers to questions about pre-paid parking/transportation programs

March 20, 2020: Update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava on UCOP operations

March 17, 2020: Letter to the UC community from President Janet Napolitano

March 16, 2020: Update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava on UCOP "shelter-in-place" orders

March 16, 2020: President Napolitano expands paid administrative leave for employees 

March 13, 2020: Update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava on UCOP operations

March 11, 2020: UCOP on telecommute and limited on-site operations status 

March 10, 2020: Letter to UCOP staff about UCOP guidance and impacts



April 2, 2020: An important update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava

Dear UCOP colleagues:

I’m writing to share with you this letter from President Napolitano and chancellors to the UC community, announcing there will be no COVID-19-related layoffs for career employees through the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2020. We know this is an extremely challenging and stressful time, and we have taken this action to provide staff with some assurance for the next few months during the stay-at-home orders.

Currently, Governor Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect with no defined end date, and many Bay Area counties have extended their stay-at-home orders through May 3rd. Accordingly, UCOP will remain on telecommute status with limited on-site operations through at least May 3rd.

Please continue to consult the UCOP.edu website for tips and resources about staying healthy and working effectively from home, and if you have specific needs or questions you may send an email to UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.

Thank you for your resilience, partnership, ongoing dedication and good work during these unprecedented and difficult circumstances. I am very proud and grateful to work with such committed and capable colleagues. Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer 

 


March 20, 2020: Update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava on UCOP operations 

Dear UCOP colleagues:

The health and well-being of all UCOP staff continue to be our highest priority. Our UCOP teams have been working hard to move many employees to telecommute status, including functions that have never worked remotely. Many departments have been involved in making this rapid transition and we thank you all for your patience and dedication as we work quickly to respond to this evolving situation. These are unprecedented times and I am impressed with how quickly our UCOP community has adapted and found ways to continue to perform the important work of this great university.

UCOP Operations Support

As we observe the Governor’s statewide “shelter from home” order, the delivery of some UCOP Operations services have been modified or reduced. Download the list of services and details on modifications or reductions.

What’s Coming Up

The UCOP COVID-19 Task Force is working on additional guidance and resources including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Implementing Zoom as the UCOP standard instant messaging tool for direct messaging and group/channel messaging (teams may continue to use Slack as well)
  • Equipment, ergonomics, and supplies while telecommuting
  • Culture, connectivity and wellness, including tips for healthy telecommuting
  • Reimbursement for pre-paid canceled work-related travel, conferences, and other cancellation expenses
  • Parking and pre-paid transportation programs
  • UCOP FAQ

Please stay safe and healthy, and please stay tuned to work email and the UCOP.edu website for updates.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

 


March 16, 2020: Update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava on UCOP "shelter-in-place" orders

Earlier today, six Bay Area counties announced “shelter-in-place” orders, beginning at midnight tonight (Mar. 16) and remaining in effect at least through April 7. The orders direct everyone to stay inside their homes and away from others as much as possible for the next three weeks as public health officials desperately try to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus across the region. The orders apply to San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Accordingly, UCOP offices in Oakland will close at 10:00pm tonight (Mar. 16) and access to Oakland buildings will be restricted to emergency personnel only.

The previously announced return-to-work date of Apr. 3 will be extended, and UCOP staff will work remotely through at least Apr. 7, possibly longer depending on guidance from public health officials. Additionally, some UCOP functions may need to operate at reduced service levels.

UCPath Center leadership is providing guidance specific to UCPath Center employees, and staff in our Sacramento and Washington, D.C. offices should follow the guidance of local leadership.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will provide additional updates regarding UCOP operations and services in the days ahead. Please stay tuned to local news, work email and the UCOP.edu website for updates.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

 


March 13, 2020: Update from EVP/COO Rachael Nava on UCOP operations

Yesterday, we began our phased transition to teleworking with limited on-site operations continuing for critical functions. This transition will continue over the next week or more. While we still have received no reports of any immediate exposure threat to UCOP, our phased approach supports our staff and broader community by reducing the risk of community spread by minimizing face-to-face interactions, reducing commuting and travel, and increasing social-distancing. We will post these emails and continue to update the new UCOP Coronavirus Website; please bookmark it and check back often.

We are monitoring news of school districts in our primary work locations announcing closures or moves to online learning. UC guidelines for utilizing leave, if necessary, and other Employee Q&A’s are available here.

In addition, please see:

  • Tips for working remotely for UCOP employees.
  • The UCOP Oakland mail room is observing reduced service for at least two weeks due to USPS and vendor disruptions. Mail will be sorted on Wednesday mornings into departmental boxes in the 6th floor Franklin mail room. Delivery services such as FedEx and UPS will be collected at the security desk and made available in the mailroom with the regular mail. Departments can send representatives to that location during regular business hours to collect mail. Please contact the Work Management Center at 510-987-6000 if you need a special accommodation or have questions.
  • The Franklin Garage is being made available temporarily to staff who must be on site in Oakland and don’t already have parking. The garage hours will vary over the next several days. See planned hours and closures.
  • Join your colleagues who have already registered for UCOPAlert, the service that will contact all registered employees in the event of an emergency.

Please protect your health with these tips to prevent illness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and review this help from UC health plans. If you do feel sick or have been in contact with others who are ill, please notify your manager and ensure you are taking care to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on What to Do if You’re Sick.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

 


March 11, 2020: UCOP on telecommute and limited on-site operations status 

Yesterday, we provided updates on steps UCOP is taking to carefully monitor the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak along with guidance about how our campuses, labs, facilities, and UCOP offices can best protect themselves from potential exposure.

At present, we have received no reports of any immediate exposure threat to UCOP.

However, we have been working closely with the division leaders to prepare UCOP staff to transition to a “telecommuting with limited on-site operations” status. Division leaders will be working with managers and supervisors to determine and communicate the plan for each unit.  Employees will begin to transition as early as tomorrow, Thursday March 12. 

The telecommunicating with limited on-site operations status will stay in effect until April 3, 2020 and will be re-evaluated as needed. 

Please note that during this time period, UCOP staff are expected to be fully available for meetings and responsive to requests during normal UCOP business hours.  Our decision to move to a telecommuting with limited on-site operations status supports our staff and broader community by reducing the risk of community spread through minimizing face-to-face interactions, reducing commuting and travel, and increasing social-distancing. Our phased approach quickly reduces risk for our UCOP community by reducing the number of people in the office as quickly as possible so those required to remain in the office for any period of time will also be at lower risk. 

UCOP Telecommuting and Limited On-Site Operations Plan

UCOP will implement a Phased Approach as follows. Group assignments will be finalized and documented by each division leader/chief of staff working in coordination with the UCOP COVID-19 Task Force. 

  • Group 1: Supervisors and staff who are in the CDC COVID 19 High Risk Populations should work with their supervisors to transition to telecommuting as soon as possible. 
  • Group 2: Staff who are fully equipped with tools and access to perform their function remotely and are approved by their department manager to telecommute should start Thursday, March 12.  
  • Group 3: Supervisors and staff who are not yet equipped to work remotely, but whose function can be performed remotely when equipment is available, will continue to report to the office until they have been equipped to work from home. Supervisors of these teams should also continue to report to the office until their team has been fully transitioned. The goal is to move this group to telecommuting by Friday, March 20. 
  • Group 4: Supervisors and staff required for on-site continuing operations for functions that cannot be done remotely will continue to report to the office as determined by department managers. These departments include but may not be limited to the RASC, BIS, UCPath, some UCOP Operations units, and the PEO.  Moving to an on-site/telecommuting rotation model will be evaluated to reduce the number of staff needed on-site at any one time.  Staff who may be scheduled to work in shifts with reduced work hours will be eligible for administrative leave according to the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and Paid Leave and Remote Work Provisions
  • Group 5: Supervisors and staff who are required to periodically support limited on-site operations may be asked to work from home but be available to report to the office on an as needed basis and will have continual access to the office. 

Division leaders/chiefs of staff will be working with department managers to finalize and document the assignment of staff to the appropriate group in collaboration with the UCOP COVID-19 Task Force in order to implement the transition to telecommuting and limited on-site operations as quickly as possible.  

Impact to Employees Currently on Leave

For staff currently on leave, please contact the UCOP Leaves Manager, Shannon Brooks if you have questions.  

Important Resources for Telecommuting

Transportation and Parking for Staff in Limited On-site Operations and During Transition

In order to increase social distancing by reducing use of mass transit during the transition to telecommuting (from March 12 to March 20) and for staff required to work on-site, UCOP will provide parking access at the Franklin office for those who do not currently have access. Alternative options closer to the Kaiser building or taking public transportation to other locations outside Oakland are being assessed and will be communicated when we have additional information. 

Please contact UCOP-COVID19-Response@UCOP.edu for more information about parking access. 

Equipping Additional Staff to Work Remotely

The UCOP COVID-19 Task Force will work with division chiefs of staff to prioritize the issuance of our limited inventory of laptops and assess other equipment options to support telecommuting.  The use of personal computers under specific guidance will be permitted for staff who do not have a UCOP-issued laptop (see Preparing to Telecommute). 

Access to the Office During Telecommute and Limited On-Site Operations

For the safety of all, any staff requiring access to the Oakland offices who are on telecommute status and are not on the approved limited on-site operations staffing group must notify UCOP Oakland Security by registering their visit in iVisitor or calling 510-987-9700 before visiting. 

For the UCDC location, telecommute staff requiring on-site access should notify Mac Hamlett at mac.hamlett@ucop.edu. For the UC Sacramento center, telecommute staff requiring on-site access should notify their supervisor. 

All staff should plan to take what they need before starting to telecommute so visits to the office are minimized. 

Additional Measures to Increase Social Distancing for On-site Staff

To support our staff who are required to be on-site, managers may consider staggering shifts and working to create further physical separation between staff where possible (see Group 4 above).  Supervisors and staff on-site are strongly encouraged to conduct all meetings by phone or Zoom regardless of the number of participants. 

In addition, staff should be aware of proximity to other people during lunch or other breaks and be mindful of contact with hard surfaces in common areas.  If you have questions or concerns about a particular issue, please contact us at UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu. 

Contractors, Consultants, Visitors

All contractors, consultants, and visitors should be notified that our UCOP offices are on telecommute and limited on-site operations status starting March 12 and therefore should not expect to have access to our offices.  The primary UCOP department contact should immediately notify their contractors, consultants, and visitors to inform them of our office status and arrange to conduct business remotely. 

If a department anticipates that any contractors, consultants, or visitors will require access to any UCOP facility during our telecommute and limited on-site operations status, please submit the following information to the UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu email box as well as to the division leader and division chief of staff:

  • Name
  • Company
  • Phone number (prefer cell number)
  • UCOP department contact
  • Dates and times required to be on-site
  • UCOP building destination (floor and/or room number)
  • Reason/necessity for visit 

We acknowledge that this is evolving rapidly and we are working to provide more detailed information as we implement these actions.  Please send your questions and comments to UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu and we will work to post and aggregate the answers on https://www.ucop.edu/coronavirus/

Throughout this time, we expect you to check daily for status updates and information regarding any operational decisions which may change due to the nature of this situation. 

We thank you in advance for your flexibility and appreciate your willingness to maintain business continuity during this time.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

 


March 10, 2020: Letter to UCOP staff about UCOP guidance and impacts

UC leadership continues to carefully monitor the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak and is providing guidance about how our campuses, labs, facilities, and UCOP offices can best protect themselves from potential exposure.

The outbreak has now impacted a number of communities across California and there is evidence that we are moving to a stage where there is a higher probability of community transmission or spread from person-to-person contact.

At present, we have received no reports of any immediate exposure threat to UCOP.

Nevertheless, UCOP is already collecting information from managers and supervisors about our positions in order to quickly assess and plan for the potential impact of implementing a work from home environment where feasible, while ensuring critical operations, some of which can only be performed on site (such as UCPath and RASC), continue without disruption.

We will communicate additional information on working from home as soon as possible and no later than the end of the week. 

Systemwide guidance on Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and Paid Leave and Remote Work Provisions was issued on March 9 to all UC locations. This guidance provides the following temporary emergency options to prepare for the possibility that some UCOP colleagues may become ill, need to care for someone who is ill, or are required to stay home due to community circumstances such as a school closure. This guidance applies for UCOP staff as well:

  • Employees unable to work due to their own or a family member’s COVID-19 illness should use available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, PTO-sick, or other accrued leave), and if there are no available leave balances the University will provide up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover the absence.
  • Employees unable to come to work due to public health or University-required quarantine or self-isolation measures may work remotely if operationally feasible. If remote work is not operationally feasible, employees should use available leave balances, and if there are no available leave balances the University will provide up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover the absence. 
  • Employees unable to come to work due to a COVID-19 day care or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if operationally feasible; if remote work is not operationally feasible, employees may use available leave balances including sick leave. 
  • Locations may designate certain employees to work from home. If employees are designated to work from home, it will be considered paid work status. Employees in positions who are directed not to come to work by the University and are unable to work from home due to the nature of their work (as determined by the location) may be allowed up to 14 days of paid administrative leave. Locations may determine which positions to designate, provided that all health care workers are considered exempt from this category of designation. 
  • Academic appointees who do not accrue sick and/or vacation leave and who are not otherwise eligible for paid medical leave under applicable provisions of the Academic Personnel Manual will receive up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover absences as described above. 

These measures are subject to change as the situation evolves, such as if the need to extend the availability of paid administrative leave becomes necessary.

Travel Guidance

The President has advised all UC locations to avoid all non-essential work travel and some international restrictions are in place; employees who travel for work should register to ensure they are covered by UC travel insurance in the case of an emergency. Travelers booked through our online program, Connexxus, are automatically registered for the travel insurance.

As of today, UCOP is putting this additional guidance into place for UCOP staff to help limit the potential spread of infection to other areas. We encourage finding alternate means of conducting business.

Domestic travel: UCOP recommends against all non-essential university-sponsored domestic travel, particularly by air. If travel is deemed essential for the university, and business cannot be conducted via alternative methods, please consider the following:

  • The employee’s own current personal health condition
  • Current community spread of destination location
  • The possibility that a 14-day self-isolation period may be required if the destination location becomes of heightened concern per local, state, or federal public agencies.

UCOP recommends the same considerations for personal domestic travel, including possible 14-day self-isolation.

International travel:  In addition to the President’s UC-wide guidance on international travel, UCOP is restricting all non-essential international travel to all other international destinations. Any exceptions for essential travel require pre-approval confirmed in writing via email from the employee’s Division Leader.

Meetings and Visitor Guidance

UCOP is following the CDC guidance on mass gatherings and large events.

**Please note: UCOP-hosted meetings scheduled to take place before April 30 with 150 participants or more regardless of location should be cancelled or postponed. Any exceptions require pre-approval confirmed in writing via email from the Division Leader. 

In addition, UCOP encourages meeting organizers to include Zoom technology for meetings of any size in order to avoid travel and improve social distancing, even within UCOP. Questions or issues regarding Zoom should be directed to the UCOP IT Service Desk at 510-987-0457. If meetings are held in person, attendees should be reminded of personal hygiene practices to help them stay healthy and limit the potential for community transmission. Ensure easy access to handwashing facilities and, where possible, make available alcohol-based sanitizers.

Inviting outside visitors to any UCOP location is discouraged and meetings should instead be done by phone, email or other means. This also applies to consultants and contractors, especially those that travel to UCOP locations by air.

Staying Healthy

In the meantime, please take heed of the following advice: 

  1. Employees who are sick should stay home until their symptoms resolve. Be aware that typical COVID-19 symptoms include sore throat, fever, and dry cough. 
  1. Follow simple precautions such as thorough handwashing to prevent the spread of disease, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Use your arms, elbows, tissues or other means than your hands when touching public surfaces such as doors, buttons, railings, etc. Refrain from shaking hands and wash hands thoroughly before and after transporting from place to place. 

Ongoing Updates and Emergency Alerts

As things are changing quickly, please use the following resources for ongoing updates and emergency messages:

  • UCOP website: In addition to email messages and the Link e-newsletter, we are using the UCOP website to provide UCOP employees updates about coming to work and other important UCOP-specific information. Please check the website’s home page regularly for updates.
  • UCOP Alert: In the event of an emergency, a message will be sent through UCOP Alert. If you are not already signed up, please sign up here

Please send questions to UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.

Thank you for your efforts to remain calm during these challenging times and committed to the University of California and our mission.

Sincerely,

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer