Stay Warm & Fight for Justice at your Workplace

There has been 9 inches of snow so far today with 4-6 more inches coming and wind gusts over 40 MPH. Country roads are closed. The bus system will operate through 7 pm tonight and is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning but be prepared for delays. The downtown post office is open. Urbana & Champaign schools are closed today and tomorrow. The University has not yet decided to close tomorrow. Today, the University stalled until 9 am to close campus. Some suspect the University is giving its 70,000 employees the shaft by only paying those who showed up at 8 am for work today. Local Commentary & the Chancellor's e-mail follows. The latest weather is here: SHAME ON THE UNIVERSITY AND SHAME ON CHANCELLOR HERMAN!
WHY DID THEY WAIT TO CLOSE CAMPUS??? I am deeply troubled by the fact that the University declared that it will only pay employees who showed up at 8am today given the severity of the weather. It is now clear that the reason the University waited until 9am to close campus was so that they could make money off of the employees who did not show up because of the dangerous road conditions. The university is, in essence, charging employees (i.e. benefits and vacation) for the bad weather. The university is putting MONEY FIRST and sacrificing the SAFETY and LIVELIHOOD of its employees. Campus should have been closed EARLIER! Chancellor Herman should not have put people's lives in jeopardy, as they tried to get to campus during a blizzard. This is shameful and the act of only paying some employees who showed up for work should be rescinded. ALL EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE PAID THEIR REGULAR PAY RATE FOR THE DAY. Please send your complaints and demand justice on this issue to the Chancellor at: -Martin Smith, PhD Candidate from the university:
To: All Faculty & All Academic Professionals & All Civil Service Staff & All Grad Students

Because of the severe weather conditions, the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign canceled classes today. In response to questions from
employees regarding reporting to work today, the following guidelines apply.

Non-essential employees who reported for duty this morning will be paid for
their entire shift, even if their supervisor sent/sends them home.

Non-essential employees who did not report for duty this morning may use
accrued benefits for their shift today (e.g., vacation, floating holiday,
comp time) or, if they were ill, sick leave.

Non-essential employees who do not have any accrued benefits may take an
excused leave with no pay today.

All employees are responsible for contacting their departments for
instructions. It is each unit's responsibility to determine essential and
non-essential personnel.

A decision regarding classes and operations for tomorrow, February 14th
will be made later today and shared with the media and posted on the website.

This mailing approved by:
The Office of the Chancellor

"Essential" employees had to work

Actually, I'm suspecting that it was more about the "essential" employees being asked to come in to work today than some nefarious scheme to make money. If they'd said, "OK, nonessential employees just take the day off without pay, but others have to show up," there would have also been complaints about unfairness.

What is 'essential' employees?

The Chancellor having the arrogance to call employees essential and ‘non essential’ is absolutely grotesque. What does it mean when they say people are essential? Anyone who works for the University is essential for making the University function. Secondly, all other public institutions had closed the night before why did they wait so long? We are lectured and taught consistently at work that everyone is part of the “TEAM” why the division between essential and non-essential. Students risked their lives dodging cars, some employees had to walk and others couldn’t open their own door to make it. So they don’t get paid? The chancellor should have called school off and not taken the risk.

From what I understand...

From what I understand, the people who showed up for their shifts (essential or non-essential) were supposed to be paid.

A day off, but not for free

Well, technically I'm a "non-essential" employee now, because nothing is going to break if I am not in my cube. I can do most of my work from home, if need be. I walk to work normally (living in Urbana), I worked at home half the day and then walked in. When I was a dishwasher, years ago, I was considered "essential," and in fact we were told to stay over in the UI dorms (paying $12 for the night) if it looked like we wouldn't make it in for the morning. I work for CITES, as a programmer. Various supervisors forwarded on Herman's mail, and we got the "good news" that we shouldn't risk life and limb to come in (many people live outside of C-U) but on the other hand, we do NOT get a day off with pay. We are told that we should work at home, or we can take a regular garden variety vacation day, which counts against the usual allotment. Much of CITES work can happen from home, but some people (OpCenter, for instance) are "essential." Phone forwarding can cover a lot, too. It's rather different than the "snow days" of school time. Now I fondly remember my childhood, commuting to school by train with everyone else, if the railway went on strike we got excused absences, which was cool, but then... we couldn't take the train anywhere fun, either! :D U of I is closed tomorrow too, same story. Just got the MASSMAIL now. I'm curious as to my 9:30 AM team meeting... -- Itazurakko. 残念ながらこのスレも釣り禁止…

Clearing up some confusion

According to the Campus Administrative Manual's Operation of the Urbana-Champaign Campus Under Emergency Conditions, "Department heads are asked to carefully review essential functions and inform the affected personnel so that in the event of an emergency, departmental personnel will be aware of the role that they may be asked to assume in a critical incident." Further, "essential personnel" are explicitly (although, not exhaustively) identified as those personnel required for operation under emergencies (e.g., police, food services, snow removal).

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