Additional Guidance for Inviting Certain Personnel to Return to Campus in the June 1-June 30 Period (05/27/2020)

This is elaboration on prior June guidance for inviting certain personnel to return to campus.  This information is intended for use by Incident Commanders, emergency teams and campus leadership in considering inviting selected personnel to return to campus during the period of June 1 to June 30, 2020.  All of this guidance is subject to change by the University or by changes in the directives of civil authorities.

The information below should be understood in combination with the guidance already posted on the Health Advisory Web site for the June time period.  That web guidance is at the bottom of this document for convenience.

Note: Guidance for further resumption of activities for the period beginning July 1, 2020, is expected to be made available on or about June 1.

Additional guidance for the period June 1 through June 30, 2020:

  1. UMS’s current work posture through June 30 is for employees to continue to work remotely. Invitations to return in June, while they are permissible, should very much be the exception, not the rule.
  2. Any return to traditional pre-Covid 19 work locations for a function or for selected personnel must be coordinated with the respective university’s emergency response team as led by its incident commander and the procedures which that team may have in place for a Safe Return.
  3. The need or function for an employee or employees to return should be compelling, not mere convenience or preference.
  4. For those invited to return, it must be possible for their space and activities to permit them to adhere to social distancing, face coverings and other such pandemic guidance.
  5. The communication to those being invited to return should start on June 1, not sooner. The intention of this is for those few employees who are returning to do so over the course of the month and to avoid a rush on June 1 to help ensure a Safe Return.
  6. This guidance is precipitated by certain directives of civil authorities which are anticipated to take effect on June 1. The University’s actions must conform with and not exceed the directives of civil authorities.
  7. University travel constraints remain in place. Out-of-state University travel remains prohibited. Travel within Maine should be extremely limited. Please see the detailed travel guidance on the health advisory web site for more information.
  8. Examples of possible functions which University leaders may consider inviting to return in limited numbers: Selected researchers; selected administrative functions; admissions personnel (for appointments only and only with Maine residents or others from outside Maine but who have completed the quarantine required by civil authorities); and, support personnel necessary to make any approved returns possible.

Guidance already publicly posted to the University’s Covid-19 web site for the period June 1 through June 30, 2020 follows below.  It should be applied in conjunction with the information above, not in place of or apart from it.

For Employees

Working Remotely – Guidance Through June 30, 2020 (05/15/2020)

University of Maine System employees are asked to telecommute or otherwise work remotely from home to the maximum extent possible through June 30, 2020.

At the same time, provided the State of Maine’s re-opening plan permits it, the institutions of the University of Maine System will begin conducting certain functions on campus and returning certain personnel to campuses and other University facilities in June. More information about this will be made available between now and June 1.

Any employee asked to return to campus will receive specific individual communication about this. No employee currently working remotely should return to work on campus or at other University locations unilaterally or independently. Employees should only return once they have received specific direction from the University’s emergency operations team or other appropriate University authorities.

Communication to specific employees about returning to campus will begin on or about June 1 and will continue thereafter, with that actual return occurring after that communication. Again, the University will continue primarily working remotely for the month of June. Employees returning to campus will be the exception, not the rule. Employees with known risk factors for Covid-19 should continue to work remotely.

This pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. This information is subject to change. Employees should check the Health Advisory page routinely for updated information or changes in existing information.

Returning to campus for any employee who does so will not be without constraints. To provide for social distancing and other pandemic practices, the University will continue to limit the personnel on campuses. Keeping everyone safe is among the reasons why no employee should return to campus unilaterally. Again, more information about constraints and practices will be forthcoming before and as employees begin to return.

This guidance about specific employees potentially returning to campus is for employees only. It is not intended to and does at this time alter information for students, remote instruction or the opening of general use facilities (such as libraries, computer labs, fitness facilities, bookstores, event venues) for use by students, employees or other visitors. Such facilities which are currently closed should remain so.

This guidance about selected employees potentially returning to campus is not intended to and does not alter any guidance regarding summer programming and activities, all of which already are cancelled or deferred for the month of June and should remain so.

Certain activities continue to be exempted from these restrictions under the Governor’s executive order. Employees who already were required to continue to perform duties or were permitted to do so at a physical location other than home may continue to do so in consultation with their supervisor. Employees with questions about this should contact their supervisor.

All employees are asked to follow the Governor’s directions in their personal conduct.

For much more information about working remotely, safety, employees at higher risk and additional information, please see the Human Resources guidance page.

(Last reviewed/updated: 05/15/2020)

UMS Updated Pay Guidance May 17 – June 30, 2020 (05/06/2020)

In conjunction with the extension of the UMS remote work directive, prior pay guidance requiring the use of 50% sick time and 50% vacation time is no longer in effect and is updated as follows:

From May 17 through June 30, employees may use sick time for:

  • Personal illness as normal
  • Personal isolation or quarantine of the employee as directed by healthcare provider or government agency
  • Illness of an immediate family member
  • Need to care for immediate family member who is subject to isolation or quarantine
  • General lack of available work
  • Lack of work due to inability to work remotely
  • Inability to report to work and/or inability to work remotely due to school and daycare closures

For the last three items in particular, employees should discuss with their supervisors options relating to work availability and for pay continuation.

Exception to new pay guidance: Employees who began leave of absence prior to prior to March 15 and who remain on leave will continue to follow pay practice in place at that time until they are able to return to work. This may mean that a combination of sick and vacation time is appropriate. Please contact the Employee Benefits Center should you have concerns or questions specific to your leave.