Employment Health and Safety Statewide News

Additional Information Regarding the SUNY Telecommuting Pilot Program

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the following message from UUP Statewide President, Fred Kowal. Remember that a lot of information can be found on the UUP website – , it is being updated constantly.

In Solidarity,

Ken Kern
Chapter President
UUP Buffalo Center



The following was sent to all staff at System Administration and was then sent to all campuses late yesterday. It is the present status of “essential/nonessential” policy regarding COVID-19. As you can see, the order that non-essential personnel work from home is linked to our telecommuting agreement. The latter provides the framework for how work will be monitored as many of us work from home.

However, we are continuing to work with SUNY and GOER to press for a much more liberal interpretation of “non-essential,” while also working to insure the safety of those who are essential at all our campuses – especially at the hospitals.

Thanks for all you’re doing and take care everyone…

Message from Bob Megna
Coronavirus Update

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all non-essential state employees, including those here at SUNY, will work from home under a new Telecommuting Pilot Program designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The program was created through agreements with CSEA, PEF and UUP, and also applies to M/C employees. It will remain in effect until May 14, 2020.

Essential employees are defined as those whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority. The term also applies to employees who must be physically present to perform their job, and those who are involved in the COVID-19 emergency response.

Non-essential employees are defined as those who do not need to be physically present to perform their jobs. The term also applies to employees who are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency during this emergency response.

At this time, non-essential employees shall work from home, to the extent they are able. Employees will not be charged their accruals to fulfill this directive. Non-essential employees must call their supervisor or a designated contact no later than one hour prior to their regular start time, so any change in status can be communicated.

As the operational needs of the response shifts, specific job functions or work locations may be modified accordingly. Agencies and authorities may change an employee’s designation from either essential or non-essential at any time.

Supervisors should notify their employees of their status (essential vs. non-essential) as soon as possible. They should also provide a list of those determinations to Human Resources.  All telecommuters will be required to submit a work plan that includes hours worked and work completed. Employees must treat a telecommuting day as a regular workday in which the employee must maintain a regular work routine. More information about this policy as well as necessary forms will be provided tomorrow.

Anyone who has questions about the new program or an employee’s ability to work from home should contact Human Resources.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Robert Megna
Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
The State University of New York S407A
State University Plaza – 353 Broadway
Albany, New York 12246
Tel: 518.320.1364

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