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Friday, May 15, 2020

From the Vice President for Finance and Management

Posted: Friday, May 15, 2020

Governor Announces NY Forward; Buffalo State Alternative Work Arrangements Remain in Effect

Governor Cuomo has announced NY Forward (PDF 5.9 MB), a plan outlining the phased reopening of New York State industries. New York State will reopen on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health. (Erie County has not met the seven required metrics for reopening.)  

While the governor has identified today, May 15, as the expiration date of New York State on Pause and the start of Phase One reopening, this does not signal an immediate return to campus for Buffalo State employees using alternative work arrangements. 

As the statewide reopening proceeds in phases according to industry, regional metrics are met, and campus return-to-work plans are developed in compliance with health and safety guidance, Buffalo State employees working remotely should continue to do so and should await word from their supervisors about next steps.

NY Forward categorizes industries coming back online into four phases. While education is part of Phase Four, we anticipate that Buffalo State faculty and staff members may begin to return to campus in stages in advance of Phase Four in order to prepare for the fall 2020 semester.

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations has announced that alternative work arrangements (the state’s telecommuting pilot program) have been extended through July 17, 2020. As a result, Temporary Work Location/Flexible Work Schedule Agreements at Buffalo State will remain in effect through this date. It is not necessary for employees to submit requests for extension of these agreements.  

Terms of the original, approved agreements will remain in effect as follows.

The employee agrees to, and understands, the following:

  • I am responsible for creating a work plan, including hours worked and work performed; and I must submit my signed document to my supervisor or manager.
  • I will be available for work-related discussion online or by phone.
  • I will need to use my own equipment, supplies, and telephone/Internet connection to perform job duties.
  • I must continue to fulfill my professional obligation and must continue to meet the performance expectations of my position.
  • If I do not produce a work product and my essential functions are not performed, I will charge my leave accruals in order to be paid.
  • In the event of any circumstances that make work from an alternative location impracticable, my supervisor may require me to report to the regular work site OR charge appropriate leave accruals.
  • I am subject to the same federal and state laws, policies, and procedures applicable to employees at the regular college work site.
  • The college is not liable for injuries to third parties at the alternative work location or liable for damages to the employee’s personal or real property.
  • Any approved temporary request is subject to revision, suspension, or revocation based on future guidance by the college or the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) and/or SUNY or the Research Foundation of SUNY.
  • These protocols will be in place only as current circumstances involving the COVID-19 pandemic warrant.

Should you have concerns that you are unable to continue the terms of the original agreement, please contact your supervisor immediately. Thank you.