UCLA Administration Town Halls
UCLA Administration hosts a quarterly town hall, providing an opportunity for staff to engage with the Administration Leadership Team, hear about current initiatives and ask questions.
UCLA Administration Town Hall
October 29, 2020
Questions and Answers
How will work from home requests be addressed post-COVID, provided our office is able to function remotely?
- Departments in Administration will determine the extent to which working remotely will continue into the future depending on the nature of job responsibilities. These efforts have been successful so far and are likely to continue for some time, whether or not distance to campus is an issue. Rotating schedules are also an option for departments to consider.
- There seemed to be some reluctance in allowing employees to work from home prior to campus closing and, in some instances, while campus is closed. Now that we are seeing some success in departments operating effectively with remote teams, what perspectives would you share with managers that were previously averse to letting employees work remotely and only did so because it became absolutely necessary.
- Departments in Administration have been asked to ensure that all employees whose job responsibilities can be carried out remotely are approved to do so. Telecommuting will continue into the future depending on operational needs and the safety conditions of the campus. All of us are continuing to learn how to make working remotely successful. Tools are available online for managers to continue developing their skills in managing remotely.
- As UCLA continues to push out the date for reopening and returning to campus, some telecommuting employees have decided it best to relocate for the time being, either to quarantine with family or to live in less expensive areas away from UCLA. Will they be allowed to continue working remotely in the future? Or should people err on the side of caution in case the University calls us all to return to campus? At what point do you think teams who can successfully telecommute will be asked to return to campus full-time? Is there an estimated timeline?
- The timing of returning to campus is difficult to predict and will depend on efforts to ensure a safe work environment. In the meantime, departments are continuing their efforts to be effective in supporting the remote work environment and this will continue for the coming months.
- There are currently discussions of five-day curtailments, since we were not awarded pay raises, will we be expected to partake in this program?
- All UC campuses are currently reviewing a proposal from the Office of the President regarding an extended curtailment period of five days during FY20-21. Feedback is currently being gathered and no decisions have been made at this time. This is unrelated to pay raises and is intended to support the University in addressing the financial impact of COVID-19 and to help avoid the need for staff reductions to the extent possible. We do not yet know if this systemwide proposal will coincide with the plan for the proposed UCLA campus Winter Closure.
- When will we find out when layoffs will start?
- There is no established date for layoffs. Departments are assessing their financial circumstances and will provide the required notice if any layoffs should become necessary in the future.
- Will the 128 hours of Paid Administrative Leave expiration date be extended past December 2020 for those who have not used all of their time?
- We are currently awaiting feedback from the UC Office of the President on whether the available 128 hours of Paid Administrative Leave can be utilized after the end of December.
- Onboarding and integrating into new teams is difficult. How are we ensuring that each newly talent-matched/new employee is getting the same level of care in their onboarding process? I see this as difficult considering the lack of standards across both main HR operations, as well as the spokes within departments. How are we setting standards and upholding accountability?
- The HR service centers were combined as of October 1, 2020, with consistent standards being used. It is important for department managers who are acquiring new or re-assigned employees to ensure that care is taken to provide the necessary information and resources to support the employees.
- Separation can be very difficult, but there is much we can learn from those leaving us. Are we doing best-practices by holding exit interviews? Are we documenting their knowledge, so we can transfer /make it centrally available for teams?
- All departing employees are encouraged to complete an anonymous exit survey through the HR/Payroll Operations Center. The aggregate information is shared with department heads.
- We are getting conflicting information about who is required to get tested. Please clarify for part time workers, or those who only go to campus once/twice per month. Also, no information is available for how the folks who work outside of the testing times get their test and how it is turned in. We cannot be in compliance if we are not given any instructions.
- Per the UCLA Community Screening Protocol (stage 2 expansion effective 10/26) and the Campus wide Bruin Post (issued on 10.22), all members of the campus community, excluding the Health System, who are living, learning or working on campus — and are present on campus at least once per week — will be tested for COVID-19 on a regular schedule, most weekly. If there are individuals who are working on campus at least one day a week, and they haven’t received any communication from ASHE/SummerBio with testing instructions, the department can send ASHE the name, UID and email address of those missing and they will be added to the system. UCLA affiliates can also walk up to either test site and be tested by scanning a generic QR code and registering on-site. The ASHE team is coordinating now on how to accommodate staff who have work shifts outside of normal business hours. More info available on the ASHE COVID-19 Testing Webpage.
- How do you plan to ensure that individuals living in the dorms, fraternity and sorority houses, and university apartments are taking weekly COVID Test and being monitored?
- This is being monitored by the UCLA Exposure Management Team in partnership with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Housing and Hospitality, and Student Affairs. Students living in fraternity and sorority houses that are not coming to campus for work or learning are not required to be tested since they are living in private housing, however it is strongly encouraged.
- Will UCLA make more locations available for COVID testing? Preferably off campus locations. A: A mobile testing site will be deployed shortly to help with this, COVID Mobile Testing Bus. In addition, south campus location will be opening soon in Switzer Court, near CHS and DGSOM. We are also working on setting up a protocol for test kits which could be provided to those working remotely and those departments who have off-hour shifts.
- How are we holding accountability for wellness checks? How do we know who needs them and how are we maintaining accountability? A: Symptom screening is required under the UCLA Summary of COVID-19 Public Health Requirements and non-compliant behavior will be addressed per the UCLA Procedures for Enforcement and Compliance of COVID-19 Mitigations. As there is no standard process that would be feasible campus wide, departments are establishing internal procedures as part of their COVID-19 Resumption Plan. Public Health Ambassadors have also now been deployed across campus to support these efforts.
- Can UCLA employees who are currently working remotely from home full-time and rarely come to campus get tested for COVID-19 at the various testing locations at UCLA, or is this more reserved for those students, faculty, and staff who need to get tested weekly? For example, I've been working from home full-time but I would like to get tested for COVID to see if I've been or are asymptomatic.
- Staff do have access to voluntary testing. This would fall under “Group 3 – Voluntary” in the UCLA Community Screening Protocol.
- Why was the asymptomatic testing rolled out without adequate planning such as how to test nighttime workers or employees in unions?
- The Campus is diligently working to adjust with changing requirements and needs as the pandemic continues. We appreciate this feedback and will commit to doing better at communicating with Unit Heads prior to implementation of significant changes to our protocols.
- I attended the COVID Task Force town hall yesterday where a panelist stated that Flu vaccines weren't mandatory or couldn't be made mandatory. Can you clarify the requirement for flu vaccine requirements for employees and students and the difference in the messaging given that the Nov 1st deadline is coming up?
- UCOP issued an Executive Order mandating a flu vaccine for those present on campus and that remains in effect. Please see discussion in UCOP FAQ 21.
- With a flu vaccine mandate already in place at UCLA, are you planning on imposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate when one becomes available? My fear is that when the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is released, employees will also be forced to receive the vaccine, which I believe most of us are unwilling to take it due to the speed at which the vaccine has been developed and has not been properly tested or vetted by the experts.
- It is premature to speculate about a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine availability or application. We will provide information at the appropriate time.
- What can be done regarding staff that refuses to wear a mask, even when asked politely and/or when management is aware and not doing anything about it? What is the protocol to anonymously report unsafe working conditions to ensure no retaliation will occur? A: Please refer to the UCLA Procedures for Enforcement and Compliance of COVID-19 Mitigations.
- I'm curious to know: why are health system employees not included in the UCLA community COVID-19 cases count?
- The Health System reports cases to LACDPH in accordance with the requirements applicable to licensed healthcare facilities, which are different from campus reporting requirements.
- What would you say to employees who are telecommuting and have a normal or increased workload, yet other employees are being allowed to telecommute and they have nothing to do? How do you balance the need to keep people employed with the need to maintain basic fairness? Is there a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the University isn't giving away money to people who aren't working?
- We encourage and promote all employees to pursue opportunities to serve the organization in any way possible. Many employees have duties which are severely impacted by the pandemic which makes their work inaccessible or curtailed. However, all employees have the opportunity to make positive contributions to the campus and their team, including work to support other departments and temporary reassignment job opportunities. We encourage the use of UCLA Talent Match to learn more about job reassignment opportunities for current staff.
- Accounting and marketing are often at opposing ends when it comes to the budget - accounting says cutbacks and marketing says create value. How are we creating new value for funds in our auxiliary units? Now is the time for creativity, so how are we opening the floor up to new, innovative, crowdsourced ideas?
- Good ideas are always welcome. No one person, manager, team, or department is the sole source of good ideas. We encourage you to share your ideas with others and identify, elevate, and promote worthwhile opportunities for the organization.
- Administration is focused on various initiatives to create value, deliver new revenue, and lower expenses. Many of these initiatives are highlighted in the Strategic Work Plan. Many new and exciting initiatives will also be explored and launched to meet our objectives. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with your team, supervisor, and leadership on how we may improve the organization.
- Does the University support defunding/disbanding/disarming UCPD or does the University not support defunding/disbanding/disarming UCPD? All public statements up to this point have been vague with opportunities for "outs" depending on how the political winds may be blowing at some point in the future Please make a definitive statement.
- Campus safety is a key priority for the campus. It is critical to continue to support the department and officers that are here to provide safety on the campus. We do acknowledge that policing has evolved over the last decade and has even more evolution to occur. We believe the UCPD continues to improve policing to make sure everyone feels safe as a result of the presence of officers. We realize that not all people feel that way today and this is work for us to do. We are proud of the people who serve with UCPD at UCLA and have the utmost confidence in their professionalism and commitment to safety of everyone on campus and how we can hopefully become the model for policing in the future.
- How are we planning to keep more open communication flowing regarding not only COVID-19 updates, but also operational updates across Administration? Can we do a monthly newsletter with opportunity for upward feedback? Can we make these townhalls a quarterly occurrence? Can we have a central Microsoft Teams or slack space where interaction from across Administration can happen?
- These are all great suggestions. Administration will continue to seek ways to communicate effectively across the organization including the use of News and Views quarterly newsletter, direct email updates, Virtual Town Hall, and open office hours with the Vice Chancellor. We intend to conduct quarterly Town Halls to provide the latest updates and highlighted our progress towards strategic goals and objectives. All town hall sessions will be recorded and made available at the Vice Chancellor’s webpage with links to the presentation materials, Q&A, and YouTube link for video playback. In the future, we will explore other communication channels including a slack space to capture and share this information.
- Will UCLA start covering its parking pass for essential workers? Some of us could use that money that our coworkers working from home are saving. Just a thought seeing as we risk our health everyday due to the fact that we were classified as essential.
- While UCLA Events & Transportation recognizes and greatly appreciates the contributions essential employees have made during this time, we are unable to cover the cost of parking. In accordance with California State Assembly Bill #1129 (1960) and Regents’ policy, the parking system is entirely self-sufficient and is prohibited from the use of state or university funding. Additionally, these policies require that vehicles parked within University of California campuses be subjected to fees sufficient to cover the cost of the parking system. As such, parking fees are necessary and revenues collected through parking fees continue to be the only source of funding for: the operation and maintenance of parking structures and lots, parking lighting, safety, and seismic upgrades, department staffing, alternative transportation subsidies, and newly added sanitation protocols as recommended by Cal/OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control.
- Change management tools and methods are critical through all of the change we are experiencing and having to enact. How is Administration approaching change management? What resources are we providing to staff to lead change and to receive change?
- There are courses related to change that are shared regularly with the Training & Development LMS listserv. To receive the CHR Training Newsletter on a regular basis, please send an email subscription request to: [email protected] or contact Jewel Powell at [email protected]
- Would it be possible to install cameras in classrooms for professors to teach in a classroom environment while students watch online?
- This is an excellent suggestion and one that we did indeed think of early on in the pandemic. This past summer, we (in partnership with our colleagues at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching or CAT), installed cameras that function with Zoom in 80 of 192 (42%) of our General Assignment Classrooms. We’ve gotten some utilization this Quarter and expect even more during the Winter Quarter.