To: Wellesley Community
From: President Paula A. Johnson
Re: Response to Governor Baker’s Stay-at-Home Advisory
Date: March 23, 2020
Earlier today, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory for all Massachusetts residents effective from noon tomorrow, March 24, until April 7.
The governor’s executive order includes a provision for higher education that allows the College to remain open and for operations on campus to continue so that we can facilitate remote learning and provide essential support to our students, including those who remain in residence on campus.
However, this order requires the College to implement changes that will affect its on-campus workforce—specifically administrative and union staff. We are also issuing associated guidance for faculty and for students remaining on campus.
Here is how this executive order will affect the College community:
The College has designated a minimal number of critical positions/employees who may be required to travel to and from campus to perform critical functions. Division heads have identified these positions/employees, and each individual was notified by his or her manager earlier today.
Employees who are not able to report to campus when scheduled to work should let their supervisors know right away. In many cases, alternative arrangements may be made. Employees unable to work for a COVID-19 related reason may take any type of accrued or unpaid leave time.
The College has developed a plan that strives to support and provide opportunities for our IMSEUA union employees (including dining workers and facilities workers) while adhering to the governor’s order.
Similar to the approach it has taken for administrative staff, the College has designated certain union positions as critical so that these employees can continue to support the facilities and dining operations for students who remain in residence as well as the College’s academic and operational needs.
From March 29 through April 26, we will be rotating facilities employees in teams; each employee will work on campus approximately one week out of the next four weeks. During the weeks the facilities workers are available but not scheduled to work, they will continue to be paid at their regular rate.
Dining workers will work on the reduced schedules that were already planned through the end of spring break. From March 29 through April 26, the College will staff two dining halls, which takes into account the reduced number of students living on campus while allowing for appropriate social distancing during meals. Dining workers will also be rotated in teams, working approximately one week on and one week off. During the weeks when the dining workers are available but not scheduled to work, they will continue to be paid at their regular rate.
If a union employee cannot report to work for a COVID-19 related reason, the employee may use any type of accrued or unpaid leave. Managers will also work with union staff regarding scheduling issues.
Wellesley College Police Department
The Wellesley College Police Department will continue to serve our campus, as the governor’s order recognizes the critical function served by law enforcement.
The College recommends that faculty members follow the governor’s stay-at-home advisory and teach from home whenever possible. In cases where that is simply not feasible, please notify the provost in advance of coming to campus to teach.
Students in residence
Students remaining on campus will be largely unaffected by this new order. However, in many cases, students living on campus who have off-campus jobs may no longer be able to go to work. Students employed off campus should consult with their employers for guidance on whether they can work remotely. The College plans to issue guidance related to work-study and on-campus employment later this week.
I am grateful for the tremendous amount of work that has gone into developing this plan, which keeps our staff working in this difficult time.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we adapt to ongoing guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to provide updates to keep you informed of the College’s response.