Periodically weather or other circumstances requires the University to close certain campus facilities and suspend campus operations. While most university staff are instructed to not report to campus when the university closes due to snow, some staff (e.g., Essential Personnel) are required to report to campus to perform their respective work functions or engage in work that would allow for the re-opening of campus (e.g., snow removal). Exempt employees, in the professional employee bargaining unit, required to report to campus during a campus closure day resulting from weather (not including partial closures or late openings), shall receive a minimum of 3 hours compensatory time and a maximum of 7.5 hours depending on time required to be spent on campus. Exempt employees who remain home shall receive their regular compensation, subject to specific provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements (to be entered as UCLSD in HRdirect). 

It is also important to acknowledge that when a snow closure is declared, and non-exempt staff are instructed to remain at home, many employees continue to perform routine work tasks (e.g., check their email, Zoom call with supervisor, finish up a project). All non-exempt staff are to be compensated for a full workday when the University is closed for snow (to be entered as UCLSD in HRdirect), unless they have previously scheduled vacation, sick or personal time. 

While most on-campus operations are suspended during such a remote day, there often is critical work that is performed by staff from their remote location. The nature of this work will vary by department, and demand to fulfill this work may also vary by time of year (also likely to vary by department). The following guidelines are meant to assist management and staff in the structure and nature of work expectations during a snow closure for members of the professional bargaining unit. 

When a campus closure is anticipated in advance of a snowstorm, management should determine what work routines must be completed despite the closure. A conversation with department unit leadership and staff to determine which staff will cover required work routines during a closure, prior to the closure, is recommended best practice. In situations without advanced notice, management should triage required work and communicate clearly to staff what, if any, work must take place during a snow closure. The parties recognize that university on-call systems are in place for emergencies/high-priority work, which should continue to be in place regardless of the university being closed for snow. 

Factors to consider to maintain business continuity during a snow closure should include: 

  • Impact on the students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders served by the departmental unit. Examples include but are not limited to: 
    • Delaying payroll would have a significant negative effect on students, faculty & staff 
    • Breakdown in phone, email and web communications will have a significant negative impact on students, faculty & staff 
    • Closing critical lab services in some campus facilities may result in lost research progress 
    • Maintaining high level of IT security 
  • Level of task urgency – High, Medium, or Low priority 
    • High priority may include health, safety, student conduct, security, and on-call issues; communications to campus community regarding closures/website updates; event preparation or rescheduling; service to students residing on campus 
    • Medium priority may include maintaining progress on deadlines for critical projects or deliverables 
    • Low priority may include work related to tasks that are scheduled well in advance where there is time to get the work done, or tasks that can be completed during the next on-campus workday without major impact 
  • Task dependency 
    • Financial Aid disbursements is time sensitive and impacts current students 
    • Visa processing for International Students must be completed so these students can enroll and travel to campus 
    • IT help desk available to support needs of staff working remotely 
  • Sensitivity to calendar 
    • Much of our work aligns with semester-based activities that occur throughout the Calendar Year (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer). Examples include recruitment, evaluating admissions applications, orientation, grading and graduation. 
    • There are most likely some registrar and student billing activities that we would want to include 
    • Missing grant deadlines could jeopardize funding streams 

Staff who remain home during a snow closure may have challenges and unique circumstances that impacts their ability to work. These may include but are not limited to: 

  • Family care 
  • Internet connectivity or loss of power 
  • Distraction free work environment 
  • Snow removal 
  • State of Emergencies 

Due to these challenges and unique circumstances, a conversation with departmental unit leadership and staff in advance of a snow event is strongly advised to best understand what work is feasible when planning for a snow closure while also factoring in the level of task urgency, task dependency, and sensitivity to the calendar.