A message from Melanie Gudmundson, Chief Human Resource Officer:
We know that many of our students, faculty and staff will be impacted by the recent announcement of the closure of public schools for three weeks starting March 23, 2020. This is extremely stressful for all of us as we try to balance health and safety and increasing social distancing, taking care of our families, and trying to maintain College operations.
It is our goal to accommodate, to the greatest extent possible, those staff, faculty and students who have to care for their children. We will use all the tools at our disposal in order to help the Red River College community through this unprecedented time.
This means that staff will have the option to work from home, and/or use other forms of approved leave to support childcare needs during this period. We recognize that flexibility will be needed to accommodate different requirements, and the College is prepared to work with staff and faculty to find this balance. We also know that not all employees will be able to work from home due to the nature of their job and we are continuing to explore accommodations to support those employees as well.
In the event you are required to stay home to care for sick family members or to care for children whose school/daycare are closed please work directly with your manager to discuss the appropriate plan for your specific circumstances. These situations will be managed as follows:
- Work from home where appropriate (see working from home guidelines).
- Build flexibility in hours of work to allow for childcare responsibilities. This could include working evenings and weekends to account for the time.
- Where it is not possible to work, use family related leave; vacation, Voluntary Reduced Work Week (VRWW); overtime; sick leave and/or other forms of approved leave. *sick leave will only apply when all other leaves, and flexible options have been explored*
All policies, procedures, and provisions in the collective agreement apply, with the exception of a requirement to produce a doctor’s note if you are required to use sick leave. We are taking this step in order to reduce pressures on Manitoba’s healthcare system.
People who have scheduled vacation are expected to continue their vacation leave unless their roles are necessary to support operations during this time. If individuals would like to take additional vacation time and it is feasible in the current situation, please do so.
We are asking employees to work closely with their managers to establish an appropriate balance of family responsibility and work, including taking reasonable steps to share family duties with other caregivers in your family or friend network. In rare situations where individuals do not have sufficient paid leave as outlined above, we will track the hours required for leave and develop a schedule at a later date to make up the time required.
As you know, the situation unfolding around COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We are monitoring all developments and implementing policy decisions as needed. This means that the options here are intended to cover next week and the period of time that public schools will be closed (March 16 – April 13, 2020). This policy may be revised or updated as required as the situation evolves.
With so many factors coming to bear on our workforce, our operations, and our families, there isn’t a one size fits all solution for an organization as large as ours. We are committed to providing as many flexible options as possible in order to promote safety, support the RRC community and continue operating to the best of our abilities.
I want to thank all of you for your support and patience as we continue to address the ongoing changes that we’re facing. This message will be sent to all staff tomorrow morning.
We know that there will be many questions, please take the time to read the FAQs. Please send your additional questions to email@example.com.