The situation around COVID-19 is changing rapidly and with the announcement on Friday by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers that closes all public and private K-12 Schools in the state, many of our employees may be concerned about childcare.
Both UW-Whitewater campuses will remain open. Many of our employees may have questions regarding the governor’s order. UW-Whitewater is considering a variety of options for employees. Here is what we can tell you now, keeping in mind things may change again as we traverse this emergency:
What if my child’s school or daycare is closed and I have no one else to take care of my child?
It’s important for you to talk to your supervisor as soon as possible about your options, given your duties on campus. If you will not be working, you may request to use paid leave time or choose to take unpaid leave. You can also talk to your supervisor about the possibility of a flexible work schedule. Until these conversations occur, we ask that employees make arrangements to come to work as usual.
Will I be able to work remotely?
In order to implement suggested guidelines for social distancing, deans, division heads and supervisors will consider which employees perform mission-critical work that must be completed on site, and what work can be completed off-site.
Supervisors will be provided with guidance on considering whether employees may work remotely or if they need to perform their duties on site.
Deans, division heads and supervisors should communicate to all of their employees whether they may work remotely or be allowed to adjust their schedule.
Meanwhile, ICIT has put together an excellent guide on how to prepare for working remotely at https://www.uww.edu/icit/remote
What if I do not have the ability to work remotely?
At this time, there is no provision in state policy that allows for employees to be paid without working or using paid leave. We realize this may create a hardship for some employees. We are monitoring this situation very closely and should this change, we will communicate with you immediately. You may choose to use paid leave time to remain in paid status or you may elect to take unpaid leave. It is suggested you contact the Office of Human Resources so you understand the consequences of unpaid leave.
Student employees are an important component of our workforce. Student employees should work with their supervisors on their planned work schedules over the extended break and beyond.
Because many campus operations will continue, some student employees will be needed to maintain key student services and campus functions. If students have concerns, they should work with their supervisor. Additional information will be shared if the situation changes.
We ask for your patience as we work through the personnel considerations we are all now facing. In the coming weeks, we will continue to provide regular updates to all of our valued employees.
Janelle Crowley, Ph.D.
Chief Human Resource Officer