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Moving to Required Services

To help ensure the health and safety of our campus communities, support government recommendations and to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19, York University has moved to required services only on our campuses.

The following information this is to provide the York community with further and additional information on what the specific steps and procedures the University is taking to move to Required Services status

Building Access

In order to continue to support the academic mission of the University and required services, the University is adopting a new building access approach guided by the following principles:

  • Support an orderly and phased transition to a new mode of operations and service delivery
  • A focus on the safety of staff, students, and researchers who are required to use university spaces to deliver academic programs and required services;
  • Promoting the safety and security of University assets and research intellectual property (i.e. Lab equipment)
  • Enabling academic and research delivery model by providing facility and security support in an environment changed by extenuating circumstances;
  • Protecting and preserving our campuses in the short-term for the eventual recovering of operations.

Even with these measures in place, the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation could result in building closures at any time. As such all faculty, staff, students, and researchers must take the immediate and necessary steps to secure their work and research areas and make the necessary preparations to work remotely.



Extended access to buildings and spaces will be prioritized for those required operations and functions that must continue to be conducted on campus. These include:

    • Access to faculty offices, technology and other services if required to complete courses through online learning and online exams
    • Time sensitive and critical research activities that cannot be moved off campus
    • IT help desk service support
    • Faculty offices
    • Security Services
    • Facilities (Maintenance, Grounds, Central Utilities, Custodial)
    • Stong, Winters and Glendon Cafeterias
    • Student residences and apartments, and
    • Areas designated for student use for Internet access
    • Maintenance, Grounds, Custodial, Energy Management, UIT, and Community Safety staff will retain existing access privileges in order to perform required on-campus functions.
    • Community Safety Centre and IT help desk will have full access so that the community members can access these front desk services.

Phase I (March 20-27, 2020)

All existing access holders will retain access privileges for approximately one week following the closure of buildings, on March 20, 2020, to allow for the transition to a new operating model.

    1. During Phase I, AVPs and Associate Deans will prepare a list of faculty, staff, students, and researchers who are expected to be on campus beyond March 27, 2020 to conduct Required Services. This list will not be used for checking ID, but rather to ensure the safety and well-being of the community by providing Security Services with a situational awareness of who is on our campuses
    2. Requests for extended access will be reviewed during this time to ensure that only required faculty, staff, students, and researchers have access to spaces necessary to perform Required Services.
    3. Faculties and Units must also prepare a list of those spaces that need to remain open during this emergency in order to allow for the delivery of Required Services (as detailed above).

Phase II (Begins March 27, 2020 Until Further Notice)

By March 27, 2020 end of day, Faculties, Units, and VPRI will be asked to provide the list prepared during Phase I of all faculty, staff, students, and researchers who require access to campus buildings in order to support the delivery of courses (online), exams, research, and Required Services.

    1. The list will be approved and submitted by AVPs or Associate Deans to Security Services at doorcard@yorku.ca who will either ensure that the existing access privileges are retained or that new access privileges are provided.
    2. By March 27, 2020 end of day, Faculties and Units must also provide the list prepared during Phase I of those spaces that are needed to remain open during this emergency in order to allow for the delivery of Required Services (as detailed above).
    3. Where access is only required for specific days (i.e. exam), the Faculty or Unit can identify the individual and the date and time the access is required. Upon presenting their valid ID, Security Services will provide access as requested.
    4. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they have proper keys for entry into their authorized area. Security will not provide keys or access into personal offices or work suites.
    5. Where a new access card is required, Security Services will leave the card at the SCC for pickup by the faculty, staff, students, or researchers. Valid ID must be shown in order to receive the access card.
    6. Over the course of the emergency, access lists can be amended at the request of AVPs and Associate Deans on a weekly basis by sending updates to doorcard@yorku.ca by Friday at noon.
    7. In order to provide a clean and welcoming environment to returning students upon the completion of the current emergency, custodial services will sanitize rooms and secure them as they are vacated. This will also ensure that critical resources are available to continue necessary sanitizations of work areas that are still being used for required services.

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Please note that the information below has been updated to correct references in the information. The substantive information is unchanged.

York University is committed to upholding the principle that all employees will continue to be paid for any currently scheduled days/shifts.

The following examples are provided to help you as a casual employee, or someone who is paid on an hourly basis, understand how this commitment relates to you.

  • You may be continuing to work on campus or remotely, as determined by your manager.
  • If you have a contract with a specified end date and a guaranteed minimum number of hours for that contract, you will be paid based on your actual hours worked or your minimum guaranteed hours, whichever is higher, to the end of your contract.
  • If your employment relationship with York is such that you don’t have guaranteed hours of work* and there is no work available for you beyond April 4, you will be paid until April 4, 2020 as follows:
    • Whether or not there is a loss of scheduled work, you will be paid in accordance with your typical schedule.
    • Where work that would have otherwise been scheduled is not scheduled, the hours to be paid will be based on the hours that would have been scheduled, based on your last full schedule of work.
    • *Typically, this would apply to employee groups such as CUPE 1356-2, YUSA-2 and the work study program.

  • If your employment had a planned end date prior to April 4, the provisions described in “c” above will apply up until that planned end date. Similarly, if your hours of work were scheduled or planned to be reduced prior to April 4 for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 (i.e. normal operations), then the hours for which you will work and/or paid will be consistent with that schedule.
  • Where any of the above (particularly with respect to pay in cases where no actual work is performed) is contrary to granting agency rules where the employee is paid from a grant, the above will need to be modified so as to not violate the rules of the grant.
  • The University continues to assess matters of work and pay in relation to the effects of COVID-19. Where upon a review,  the University determines that it has contractual obligations to work and/or pay an employee beyond April 4, per an individual contract of employment, or a group of employees per collective agreement, the University will revise its actions as described at “c” above, in accordance with its contractual obligations.

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Course Completion

  • Completing courses is a top priority for the University.
  • We are therefore urging colleagues to move all materials and other resources located in their faculty offices to their home as soon as can be managed.
  • Colleagues who have access cards will still be able to access buildings for one further week following the start of building closures to help ease the transition.
  • Access cards will no longer be active as of midnight, Friday, March 27th. Any colleagues requiring access to technology and other services on campus beyond this date in order to complete their courses through online materials and online exams must complete a form for extended access.
  • Forms are due no later than noon, March 24th and are to be submitted to the Associate Dean Research in the respective Faculty.
  • Associate Deans Research will be accumulating all requests for extended access whether for course completion or research activities.
  • Please refer to the Building Access communication already posted.

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Health, Safety and Well-Being Resources

  • Working from a home office may pose some ergonomic challenges such as working from laptops and having less adjustability in equipment.
  • All employees working from home should be directed to the Ergonomics resources on YU Link at: https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/ergonomics. Changing posture at least once per hour is recommended. The Ergonomic comfort for your workstation on the ergonomics YU Link page provides some suggested quick tips and stretches.
  • All incidents and injuries should continue to be reported to the manager and the incident reporting process remains unchanged. For more information, visit: https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/manager-resources/health-safety-and-well-being
  • Absences from work due to illness are reported to the manager, per the usual process. For more information, visit: https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/absence-leave-and-accommodation
  • Working from home can sometimes contribute to feelings of social isolation. Teams are encouraged to maintain on-going contact through telephone, emails, zoom/skype meetings.
  • Employees continue to have access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program at https://www.workhealthlife.com. Resources include personal and family support, stress management, health and well-being information, financial and legal support, and COVID-19 specific information and materials.
  • General Health, Safety and Employee Well-Being (HSEWB) inquiries can be directed to hsewb@yorku.ca or to 416-736-5491 (voicemail); confidential health information or inquiries can be directed to ewb@yorku.ca. Please visit HSEWB's YU Link page at:  https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/health-safety-and-employee-well-being for access to policies, programs and other information.

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IT Resources:

  • Employees are responsible for protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of any privileged and/or confidential University information at all times, locations and while transported.
  • Employees must comply with all University policies, procedures, guidelines, and best practices related to information technology and information security including, but not limited to:
    • installation of operating system and software updates
    • Use of anti-virus software
    • Password protection
    • Be cautious of using email/internet and email spam/ phishing
    • Sending restricted data
    • Not downloading or installing unsolicited files
    • Avoiding peer to peer file sharing
    • Turning on the computer’s firewall
  • Please refer to University Technology Services’ policies, procedures, guidelines, and best practices available online at: < http://staff.computing.yorku.ca/computing-policies

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  • Employees who are required to attend campus to work may park at no charge effective Friday, March 20 until further notice. Gates will be raised.
  • Employees who have already purchased a permit, either prepaid or by payroll deduction, will automatically receive a prorated refund or credit.
  • For employees with Continuous Permits, a prorated credit for March will be provided. Payroll deduction charges for April will also be adjusted accordingly, if necessary, based on the period of time when employees worked off-campus in virtual mode.
  • For employees with sessional permits expiring April 30, a prorated credit for the period of time when employees worked off-campus in virtual mode will be provided. The method for the provision of the credit is being determined and will be communicated at a later date.

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Pension & Benefits

      • Please continue to contact the Pension & Benefits office by emailing askpb@yorku.ca.  We also accept all documents electronically by emailing askpb@yorku.ca.
      • Please do not mail documents to the Pension & Benefits Office
      • We can also be reached at 416-736-2100 extension 27572 between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday to Friday.

Benefit Coverage

        • Despite rising concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Pension and Benefits would like to confirm there are no changes to current benefit coverage.
        • As always if you have questions please refer to your on-line benefit booklet or contact Sun Life directly.  Please be patient as Sun Life supports a number of organizations. Information regarding out of country coverage can also be found in your on-line benefit booklet.
        • Your benefit booklet is available at http://retire.info.yorku.ca/third-page/
        • Sun Life’s Plan Member Services:  ca/member
        • The Sun Life member website includes information regarding travelling etc.:  ca/member
        • Sun Life’s phone number is 1-800-361-6212. York’s policy number is 014098.
        • Most benefit claim forms may be submitted through the Sun Life mobile app or the Sun Life member website.
        • Please do not mail or drop benefit claim forms at Kinsmen building as we will be working remotely.

Pension Statements

        • Legislation indicates the December 31, 2019 pension statements must be available to all members of the pension plan on or before June 30, 2020.
        • Last year the active member pension statements were available at the end April and the retiree pension statements were available at the end of March.
        • The Pension & Benefits Office will provide more information once the statements are available.

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  • We must all respect the privacy of individuals who are being tested or who have tested positive for COVID-19.  If a student, staff or faculty member makes a disclosure to you, please direct them to https://returntocampus.blog.yorku.ca/2020/03/message-to-the-community-on-yorks-response-to-covid-19/ and encourage them to follow the directions of their health care provider and/or Toronto Public Health.  At this time, we are all doing our utmost to be helpful and communicative; however, we must not send any messaging to faculty, staff or others about suspected or confirmed cases, as this is personal health information.
  • It is the role of Public Health to conduct all appropriate investigation and follow up.  York will receive information from them if there are any public health and safety measures needed.

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      • Following guidance from government officials, the University is advising that all lab-based research activities must be shut down no later than midnight, Friday March 20, 2020.
      • Faculty members will be given one additional week to help with the transition of research activities. The transition must be completed by midnight, Friday, March 27.
      • Requests for continuing access beyond March 27 require completion of a form no later than Tuesday, March 24.
      • Please see the separate communication regarding “Building Access” that has been posted. All requests are to be made through the Associate Dean Research in the respective Faculty (cc’ing their Department Chair where relevant) and they will be reviewed by deans in consultation with the VPRI and Provost.
      • Exceptions generally refer to critical COVID-19 research and time-sensitive critical projects.

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UIT and Telecom Resources

      • The University has secured 1,500 laptops for students, faculty and staff who don’t have a home computer to learn, teach or work remotely.
      • To register to borrow a laptop, please:
        1. Log into laptops.uit.yorku.ca with your Passport York username and password
        2. Register to borrow a laptop
        3. Present yourself at the Steacie Service Desk at your selected registration time with your YU Card or other valid ID if you do not have a YU Card.

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Vacation, Overtime, Personal Days.

      • Normal processes continue to apply for employees seeking approval for requesting vacation, personal days, overtime and other absences.
      • Working from home arrangements, in and of itself, shall not trigger overtime. Contact your HR/LR representative if you have any questions.
      • Any absence request must be entered and approved, in advance, in the Time Reporting Tool (TRT) or tracked by email and maintained per normal departmental practice for those employee groups who don’t utilize TRT.

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Working Remotely

      • Working from a remote location or alternate work site (e.g. from an employee’s home) is an arrangement where employees will continue to perform and meet the requirements and duties of their position.
      • Working remotely is only in effect during the time strictly established by the University due to the COVID–19 outbreak. The work from home arrangement may be terminated at the sole discretion of the University at any time without the requirement for the University to provide any advance notice.
      • The working from home arrangement does not change the employee’s basic terms and conditions of employment with the University under the applicable collective agreement, employment contract, policies and laws.
      • The approval of a working from home arrangement in response to COVID-19 is not a guarantee that employees will be approved for working remotely e.g. working from home, in the future.

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Samina Sami, Executive Director Community Safety