Resolution 20-03, Regarding Spread of COVID-19 and the Effect of Leave Policy
RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
September 2, 2020
WHEREAS, it is the stated mission of the Employee Forum to seek out and address constructively issues affecting Staff, Faculty and Students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and
WHEREAS, these concerns include the welfare of staff employees who are exerting extraordinary efforts to implement University initiatives during the 2020 COVID-19 global pandemic; and
WHEREAS, as clusters emerge throughout campus and the community, the COVID-19 dashboard has begun to show that employees at the University have also contracted COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, at the same time, testing has not been made readily available to staff who are working in and around the affected dorms; and
WHEREAS, when testing is made available, the requirement to use personal leave time—at the crucial moment when an employee must decide whether to test, isolate, or return to work—impedes safe decision-making and represents a significant barrier to healthcare; and
WHEREAS, this requirement thus imposes a significant danger to the employee and upon the public health; and
WHEREAS, the individual and cumulative impact of this disease is so fraught that the University should not and cannot morally ignore the possibility that this policy may result in expansion of this common peril,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Employee Forum urges the Chancellor and his cabinet to enact or lobby the Governor, the State Legislature, the UNC System Office and the Office of State Human Resources to enact the following policy changes:
- Allow all employees needing to take time off to test for COVID-19 and self-isolate while waiting for results to draw from the COVID Shared Leave Bank, the existing shared leave program or some other mechanism to provide leave that does not require the employee to draw upon their own accrued leave balances.
- Allow eligibility for voluntary shared leave grants even if an employee has available time in their sick or vacation banks—as an employee will not be motivated in practice, at the crucial moment, to take time off to get tested if it means having to zero out their sick and vacation time.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum appreciates the opportunity to provide the Chancellor advice and counsel on such issues of mutual concern.
Signed on behalf of the Delegates of the Employee Forum
Shayna Hill, Chair