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Thursday, September 24, 2020

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From the Vice President for Finance and Management

Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020

Phase Two Reopening Includes Higher Education Administration; Buffalo State Alternative Work Arrangements Remain in Effect

New York State continues to reopen on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health during the COVID-19 emergency. Industries coming back online have been categorized into four phases.

While the full reopening of higher education is part of Phase Four, the return of higher education administration is included in Phase Two. Phase Two applies to business activities where the core function takes place within an office setting.

Erie County remains in Phase One of its reopening, but movement to Phase Two is expected shortly. Please note that Erie County’s progression to Phase Two will not signal an immediate return to campus for Buffalo State employees using alternative work arrangements.

As campus return-to-work plans are completed in compliance with health and safety guidance (including decreased density, social distancing, and use of face coverings), Buffalo State employees using alternative work arrangements should continue to do so and should await further guidance from their supervisors.

As a reminder: The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations 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.

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