Published June 29, 2021
In consultation with the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) and the SUNY System Office of Employee Relations, UB will begin implementing a robust, in-person return-to-campus plan for all employees.
As stated in President Tripathi’s spring announcement to the UB community, we are striving to get back to a fully place-based institution in anticipation of our students returning for the fall semester. To meet this goal, units should continue to facilitate their return-to-campus plans to meet the goal of having employees return to campus beginning Aug.2.
Although the pilot telecommuting program agreed to by GOER, SUNY and the bargaining units ends on July 2, 2021, UB acknowledges that certain employees may face child care, elder care and personal COVID-19-related medical concerns that make their individual return to campus challenging. These employees may request to defer their transition back to place-based work under the New York State Pilot Telecommuting terms as they address issues limited to child care, elder care or specific COVID-19-related medical accommodations.
It is important to remember that these telecommuting arrangements are temporary and valid only from July 2 through September 7, 2021. To be considered for telecommuting, individuals must submit the GOER Telecommuting Pilot form, specific to this transitional period, to their supervisor and unit. Departments and units should submit forms to the Office of Human Resources.
It is important to be aware that a new SUNY telecommuting/workplace flexibility program will be submitted to GOER by July 31 for review and approval, with future implementation to be determined. For your reference, a GOER memo dated June 18, 2021, stated the following:
“All agencies and authorities must have their own specific telecommuting program reviewed by GOER and in effect by no later than July 31, 2021. Agency and authority telecommuting programs should be developed in consultation with the unions that represent their employees.”
The term “agency” here means SUNY–not an individual SUNY institution, such as UB. Accordingly, no local negotiations will be held but will occur between GOER, SUNY Employee Relations and statewide union leadership.
As a university community, the past year has been very challenging. We are pleased that UB employees will now begin returning to campus to help plan for a safe and successful fall semester.