Dear Members,

Well, it’s payday today!  I am grateful that we are still getting paid – that the University is operating, that HR staff are processing payroll, and that all the other staff and faculty and CUPE employees are keeping things running, whether having to come on-site or working remotely.  I have expressed to others that it is incredible that we are able to continue operating an organization our size with so many of us having to work remotely.

We have had a number of queries regarding deductions for items such as parking, GRT corporate passes, and PAC fees.  My understanding is that parking fees are not prorated so we will be charged for March parking.  However, if we are away for all of April that there may not be a charge for parking in that event.  However, this is subject to official decisions in process.  Similarly, for GRT corporate passes and PAC fees.  While these items are still a question, please be patient and understand that the top priority for Administration is to make sure that the University keeps operating.

We were also asked about equipment costs or expenses when working from home.  Any such requests should be discussed with and will be decided by your manager.

I have also been asked about vacation carry-over.  At this time, my understanding is that the current rules still apply – any carry-over in excess of 10 days will require Provost’s approval.  While we cannot travel and do the things we might normally wish to do on vacation, there still can be a benefit in taking time for yourself as a break from the demands of work.  I know that many of you are working even harder than normal with all of the challenges of either working remotely or having to come on campus.  Taking some days of vacation to give yourself a break can be helpful.  Even if you take the occasional day here and there.  Be sure to communicate with your supervisor to coordinate work load.

Speaking of work load, be sure to maintain your work-life balance.  It can be a challenge to break away from job duties when you’re set up to work at home.  Get up and walk around, maintain standard work hours as much as possible, find some social outlets.  I’m hearing some great stories of ways people are connecting in this new environment.  As an example, a group of staff from IST have a social euchre league that played at lunch hours.  They thought the league was doomed due to work from home.  Instead they found an online version of euchre, everybody signed up and the league continues!  We’d love to hear your stories of social engagement.

The sun is shining, I hope you can get out and enjoy some fresh air!

Your UWSA team,  

Lawrence Folland, President, Cell: 226-218-1822, 
Gail Spencer, Executive Manager, 
Cathy Bolger, Communications and Administrative Coordinator,
General mailbox,