August 19: Work Adjustment Plan and Request Form Link

Dear Colleagues,

In the last month, K-12 schools have been announcing their plan for the fall. Depending upon the school, those modes of instruction may include remote instruction, in-person instruction, or a mixture of remote and in-person instruction. As 2020 has taught us, however, those plans may shift quite rapidly and unexpectedly! The plans to send children to in-person classrooms may change due to the rate of community infection or concerns by family members regarding the school’s ability to keep students safe.

As the presidents noted in their letter sent on August 17, CSB/SJU is aware of the challenges facing families. Academic Affairs has been working with Carol Abell, the director of Human Resources, throughout the summer to identify challenges facing working parents of school-aged children and to develop guidelines that would meet the needs of faculty and staff with children in the K-12 schools. The Family Friendly Policies and Practices subcommittee of the Joint Faculty Senate, chaired by Rachel Melis, has also played an important role in the planning process by identifying concerns and challenges facing parents with K-12 children, particularly parents who are untenured, visiting, or adjunct faculty. Academic Affairs appreciates the important work of the FFPP and also the work of the Faculty Chair, Greg Schroeder, and Faculty Vice Chair, Claire Haeg.

Work Adjustment Plan

The plan, based on feedback from the groups and individuals mentioned above, is that faculty who have K-12 children can apply for a work adjustment that would allow them to work remotely on days when their children are not at school. Just as is the case for faculty with medical accommodations, faculty with a work adjustment will still be required to teach a synchronous, hybrid course (in which some students are in the classroom and others are participating remotely) during their scheduled class time. In the case of partners who are both employed by CSB/SJU, we are willing to coordinate work adjustments, as far as possible, to help the family as a whole. In these cases, we ask the employees in question to consider all accommodations and work adjustments as they develop a plan.

Faculty who already have a medical accommodation to work remotely do NOT need to complete the work adjustment form unless they need a scheduling shift or have other concerns they would like to work with the Dean to resolve.

We wish to stress that the application for work adjustments is open to all faculty – regardless of faculty rank or contract status (tenure, tenure-track, or contingent).

Because we are aware that K-12 school plans are likely to change over time, the work adjustment requests can be submitted and approved at any time in the fall semester. Thus, for faculty parents who do not need a work adjustment at the start of the semester, know that if your children’s schooling plans change you can always submit a work adjustment request to reflect your current situation without fear that you have “missed a deadline.”  Likewise, if your needs change from what was originally approved for your work adjustment, simply submit an updated request.

Many faculty members have expressed concern that the burden of family responses to the K-12 situation will fall inequitably on women. We are sensitive to these concerns and will strive to provide equitable work adjustments, but we ask faculty to consider how their families as a whole and their partners’ employers can also work to ensure equity.

Work Adjustment Request Process

The policy at CSB/SJU regarding family work adjustments is that the employee's supervisor should work with the employee to develop a plan. Based on a recommendation from the FFPP, the request for a work adjustment will be made to the Dean of the Faculty via a Forms Manager link

Only the Dean of the Faculty has access to the information.

The Dean of the Faculty will review the form, communicate with the faculty member regarding any concerns/issues, finalize a plan, and inform the faculty member’s chair of the work adjustment (without sharing any details with the chair). Given the number of faculty members with K-12 children, it is likely that it may take Pam a little while to handle the requests and communicate with faculty. Pam will prioritize making and communicating decisions for faculty teaching in the A Block, given that those faculty need clarity more urgently. She will make every effort to respond quickly, understanding how important this issue is to faculty.

If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact Pam Bacon. 

Sincerely, 

Richard, Barb, and Pam