CSUEU leadership successfully advocates for more sensible, flexible execution of Temporary Telecommuting Agreements In a recent survey of CSUEU-represented employees , 7 in 10 said they are working remotely from home, also described as telecommuting or teleworking. Most employees are working together with their managers to be as productive as possible in this new COVID-19 work era. What is problematic is there are contradictions between some campuses’ “Temporary Telecommuting Agreements” and our CSUEU contract. First and foremost, all telecommuting work, per our union contract, is voluntary. If you are unable to telework (in the case of custodians, for example) you would qualify for paid administrative leave because it is not operationally feasible for you to work remotely, which is a provision of CSU's Temporary Paid Administrative policy. Many campus telecommuting policies reflect the haste with which Management executed policies while being challenged with the emerging COVID-19 and its impacts on the University. The Union has already filed a charge on this matter which will be addressed later. But the impact on employees is immediate and CSUEU has reached out to the CSU with recommendations for more consistent telecommuting policies that conform with employee rights. We received positive feedback to our proposals, outlined below. Here is what CSU Chief Negotiator Steve James said in an email to the Union: “It is not the intention of the Chancellor’s Office that employees will face discipline if all aspects of the traditional telecommuting policies cannot be met.” Problems with Some Agreements at 3 Campuses Some employees are concerned that they are required to sign a temporary telecommuting agreement under threat of discipline even though their “home offices” and “telework assignments” do not comply with the specific requirements of campus policies. Some examples of language from various telecommuting agreements across the CSU: • Homes must be in compliance with building codes, e.gs. furniture, seating, and lighting that is conducive to an effective work environment. (San Bernardino) • Employees must accept responsibility for additional expenses in relation to the telecommuting work such as communications equipment or telephone costs. (Sacramento) • Telecommuters are required to make arrangements for dependent care during the agreed-upon work hours. [This contradicts CSU’s Temporary Paid Administrative Leave policy.] (Dominguez Hills). CSUEU Recommendations CSUEU recommends a “best effort” standard for compliance with telework assignments. Employees may voice concerns and identify potential non-compliance because of unavoidable circumstances (not deliberate insubordination). Managers will note concerns and shortcomings. Reasonable efforts of employees to comply with directions should be considered sufficient to continue telework. Alternatively, if an employee or manager believes non-compliance prevents the feasibility of the telework assignment, then the employee should be allowed to use paid leave under the “Remote Work Unavailable” provision, stated in the CSU's technical tetter guiding campuses. CSU Response The CSU agrees with our recommendation to use a “best effort” approach to these temporary telecommuting agreements. “We all want our employees to be as safe as possible while telecommuting, but we are aware that the immediacy of this crisis has created situations where employees do not have the time needed to come in to compliance with all of the aspects of the traditional telecommuting agreements,” said Mr. James in an email. “We appreciate the flexibility from our employees, your members, during this very difficult time and we anticipate and expect the same level of flexibility from our managers.” Additional costs related to telework : Employees should discuss their needs with their supervisors and/or appropriate administrators. If there are equipment or supply needs, those should be brought up to the supervisor for evaluation and approval or denial. Dependent care issues: Employees should discuss with supervisors; if no solutions are identified, CSU will review with the Union on a case-by-case basis. “Once again, we truly appreciate the flexibility shown by your members and the union as we navigate these uncharted waters,” said Mr. James. “Your flexibility has allowed us to move forward in the best interest of our students and employees.” If you have questions, contact your CSUEU Labor Representative or Chapter President .