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Update on Remote Work Agreement

Jun 29, 2021

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Dear PSC professional staff, library faculty and Research Assoc/Assts,

I hope you are doing well and able to stay cool during this severe heat wave. I’m writing to let you know where we stand right now regarding the Remote Work Agreement.

I’m glad to report that in most cases members are successfully making agreements with their supervisors to work remotely for a portion of their work time. It’s terrific that in these cases the form has allowed us to make these agreements while also protecting our rights and benefits. Additionally, members are successfully requesting ADA, medical and “general” accommodations when they need them. It is important to understand that these are separate and unrelated requests. The ADA, medical and “general” accommodation is for any remote work made necessary by a disability or health/family-related issue. The Remote Work Agreement is for any remote work that is unrelated to a medical or general accommodation or a disability.

CUNY is taking the position that in most cases they will only permit fully remote work when an ADA or general accommodation has been granted. Even if you do not fall into one of those categories, you may request fully remote work via the Remote Work Agreement. What is most important, however, is that the Remote Work form stipulates only supervisory approval.

Unfortunately, we continue to hear that the process of implementing the Remote Work Agreement is being violated by certain colleges. The first step should be a conversation between employee and supervisor, which is then made formal when the employee and their supervisor sign the Remote Work Agreement. While we understand that supervisors get instructions from their own supervisors or the college president, the PSC affirms that the form must continue to be used as negotiated. The Agreement must be made between, and signed by, the employee and supervisor, only.

It has come to our attention that at some colleges members are being sent directly to Human Resources if they request 50% to 100% remote work. There is no carve-out in the Agreement for any such exception. This week the PSC will be discussing this further with CUNY, but right now, if you are being told to communicate with Human Resources, even though you rightfully believe this is a violation, it is important that you follow the instructions of your supervisor and then report this to the PSC. Please send an email to Moses Merisier if you believe the implementation of the Remote Work Agreement has been done improperly or incorrectly.

Not every employee will receive their preferred work schedule, but the implementation process should conform to the Agreement between PSC and CUNY.

I’ll write again with any updates. I hope you get some well-deserved time off this summer but also remember that use of the past year’s accumulated annual leave above the cap was extended to the end of this year so there’s still time to plan for some enjoyable time off!

In solidarity,

Andrea A. Vásquez
First Vice President

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