Minnesota governor’s directive and continued remote work

Benefited faculty and staff:

We have received questions regarding the remote work directive from Interim President Joshua Wynne sent out on March 16, specifically concerning the noted time frame originally identified as potentially ending on April 4.

Many of you participated in the Town Hall meeting for staff and faculty on Tuesday, March 24, and would have heard Interim President Wynne discuss this question. For those who were not able to attend, he conveyed that individuals  currently working remotely will continue to do so until further notice.  UND Leadership continues to monitor the current COVID-19 environment and if changes need to occur, more information will come.

In addition to the resources sent last week to individuals working remotely regarding ergonomics and wellness, Human Resources is developing a guidelines for leaders who are now supervising a remote workforce. We expect that resource to be communicated and shared with leaders on  Tuesday, March 31.

Minnesota governor’s direction to stay at home

Most of us are well aware of restrictions that are being put in place around activities of daily living.  For example, in North Dakota we have seen restaurants and bars close to in-house customers, but travel is not restricted. Minnesota is taking a more restrictive approach. Our analysis shows that it should not prevent our hard-working facilities and dining staff from coming to work. Although there are exemptions provided within the Executive Order, University employees who live in Minnesota and can remote work must abide by this stay-at-home request. Only employees who must come to campus to perform their job function are exempted from this stay-at-home order.

The Minnesota governor issued a stay-at-home order yesterday which is effective Friday night, March 27, at 11:59 p.m. and will last until 5 p.m. on April 10. The order only affects approximately 28 percent of Minnesota’s workforce, mainly in the restaurant, bar, and entertainment industry. The order does not apply to those sectors identified as critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Government Facilities Sector, of which Higher Education Institutions are a subsector.

According to information from Minnesota, several exemptions are included in this order. They comprise of educators and other workers supporting higher education institutions, as well as construction and critical trades. This construction and trades category includes workers such as electricians, plumbers, HVAC and elevator technicians, and other related construction of all kind. Additionally cleaning and janitorial staff for government properties, as well as other service professionals who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and the higher education institution properties are exempted from this order and allowed to report for work.

Travel to and from home, including people traveling in and out of Minnesota, is permitted during this time, provided that all persons follow appropriate guidelines, including but not limited to social distancing, to the maximum extent possible.

Your continued dedication to our students and campus are much appreciated.

Stay safe and thank you.

Peggy Varberg
Associate Vice President for Human Resources & Payroll Services/CHRO
Office of Human Resources & Payroll Services