Employees and Student Workers

Student Employment

For students engaged in internships, Career Development recommends you move to working remotely if your organization allows you to do so. If working remotely is not an option, students are to suspend their internship for the semester and work with their faculty advisor and Career Development. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please consult with CWL, Career Development, and your faculty advisor.

We recognize the loss of student work hours can pose a financial hardship for many students. For departments with student worker positions that can be done remotely, we are implementing a temporary policy to allow student workers to work remotely during the spring semester to ease the financial burden on students and support critical areas of University operations. 

Supervisors will be in contact with their student workers directly to assess this option with students. We know that not all student worker positions can be done remotely because of the nature of the work. We will work specifically with those students to understand the situation, and how we can best help them if this causes a financial hardship. Please contact us at Student Affairs at studentaffairs@stkate.edu.  

For many, this is part of their financial aid package and they are relying on this income to make school viable. For students in positions that can be made to work remotely will this be an option with supervisor approval? For those in ‘low contact’ positions, will they be able to work? What about those who are in positions that can not be modified to suit the situation we find ourselves in? 
 
Please see the message sent to faculty and staff on March 17 and to students on March 18 regarding the ability to work remotely during the spring semester. 

Employee Information

St. Kate’s cares about the health of all employees, and we would not have employees on campus if it weren’t reasonably safe. 

With that in mind, there are measures we can all take to make sure we stay safe and healthy both on and off campus.

  • Practice social distancing. When possible, maintain a personal distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. If needed, rearrange workstations to maintain distance.

  • Limit touching of surfaces, including doors and light switches. Use the automatic door openers when available or use a tissue or paper towel to turn on and off light switches.

  • Clean your office space. Frequently wipe shared surfaces such as printers, door handles, light switches, phones, and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes.

  • Limit in-person meetings. Utilize technology like Google Hangouts, or just pick up the phone or send an email when possible.

  • Events of any size should only be held if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing per above. When feasible, organizers should modify events to be virtual.

  • Avoid shaking hands or otherwise touching coworkers.

  • Follow CDC guidelines to protect yourself and others, including washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you are sick.

Beginning March 18, 2020, faculty and staff who can work remotely will do so until further notice. The decision to transition to a remote workforce across St. Kate’s and units were made with the goal of lowering the number of interactions on campus, slow the rate of transmission of the virus, and protect our community. We also know some staff must be on campus to support the residential population still on campus, to maintain our campus operations, and to keep the University healthy and secure. We are actively addressing the unique employment considerations and questions across our workforce during this time. The situation is changing rapidly, and HR is reviewing and adjusting workplace policies accordingly.  

To make this transition easier, we are suggesting the following:

  • Your work laptop should be your home office device. It contains our work software and is easily supported remotely from our Helpdesk if you should run into any issues. 
  • Your work monitor(s) and docking station can be brought home for you to set up in your home office.  There will be no remote support available to do the setup, so please make note of how it is configured.  Also, when you return it to work on campus, it is expected you return the equipment and reconnect it to its original state.
  • Phones cannot be brought home, and unfortunately, our phone system cannot consistently forward your work calls to your cell phone. We are working on a new phone system and may roll that out within the next few months if testing goes well.  Until then, you will need to update your voicemail and check your messages frequently.
  • For those teaching, we have headsets that may help you to be hands free with improved sound for your classes.  Feel free to check one out using our Coronavirus Technology Form. Our priority will be faculty,and then staff, to receive these devices.

If you have any questions or need assistance, call our Helpdesk at 651-690-6402  or complete the Coronavirus Technology Form

Yes. If you are unable to do your work remotely due to the nature of your work, you are expected to report to campus.

Under the governor’s “Stay at Home” executive order, University employees are allowed to come to campus. Public servant time will not be used to stop and question where people are going during the stay-at-home order. In the highly improbable event that someone would question you being en route or on-campus, your St. Catherine University ID will show that you are an employee of the University and allowed to do so because we are an essential business.

While the majority of employees are encouraged and able to work remotely, there are some roles that continue to call for at least some work time on campus several times per week to complete work tasks (e.g. check mail, process payroll, pay bills, process donor checks). There are also employees whose duties can only be performed on campus, including IT, ensuring all employees and students are trained and set up to be effective online, and those needing to be here for the 100+ students who call St. Kate’s their home. We deeply appreciate our custodial, public safety, dining services, residence life, and facilities teams who will be here.

Because we are an essential business, presence on campus can and may be expected of any one of us while still ensuring social distancing and other public health orders. You should continue to follow work arrangements made with your supervisor. Exceptions to this will be those individuals who fall into a high risk category as outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health and/or your private physician. 

As stated in our March 23 update, Human Resources is gathering the data from across the University to account for the work of every faculty and staff member. We will use the principles stated in that update to determine how we can be flexible and to the best of our ability, strive to ensure employees have work. Part of our strategy is to actively work to redeploy individuals whose job functions have been significantly impacted by our current circumstances. As new needs and projects emerge (e.g., IT support, admission, recruitment), we will make every effort to redeploy portions of employees’ time to provide support to these other areas or deal with a backlog of items in their own areas that this time affords. If we are unable to find alternative work for them to perform, we will be carefully considering what other options may be available.

Additionally, supervisors are asked to not use on-call or temporary workers during this period as we work to ensure that all of our regular employees are able to maintain full time employment. All non-exempt employees working remotely should be paid for all hours worked at their regular rate of pay. Overtime should be avoided whenever possible, but in extraordinary circumstances may be incurred, and must be pre-approved by a Senior Leadership Team member.

As always, if you have individual questions or concerns, please go directly to your supervisor. If you need additional information or support, please contact Human Resources.

Yes, with supervisory approval, you may leave work. Discuss with your supervisor the possibility of working remotely and how you may be able to make up the work in the same workweek, work a different schedule, or work from home.  If it is not feasible to make one of these arrangements work you will need to request vacation time.

You may request to use paid vacation leave benefits; however, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off request if your department is short on staff.

The priority in any instance requiring care for yourself is to attend to your own health needs. If you are ill and are not able to report to work (campus or remote location), you should use a sick leave day.

Based on the type of job duties to be performed and with supervisor approval, you may be able to work from home while you are quarantined or caring for a family member who is quarantined.  Each situation will be assessed on an individual basis.

No. At this time, medical documentation will not be required. This temporary change in policy is to provide support to the medical community who have already been overwhelmed with providing healthcare at this time. This is subject to change as the current situation evolves.

Employees who are at risk due to an underlying health condition are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. However, please be very prudent in how you do this with your health provider so that you are not part of overwhelming the health care system. If necessary, you may seek a work accommodation. Please contact hr@stkate.edu for more information on seeking an accommodation.

If you are out of accrued sick leave, you may use accrued vacation time or be allowed to run a negative sick leave balance to ensure you are able to take the time you need to recuperate or take care of a family member. Please contact Human Resources (hr@stkate.edu). You should notify your supervisor in advance and account for the time on the timesheets or leave reports.

Sick and safe time or vacation leave time are potential options. Employees may also request the possibility of a change to their work schedule if approved by their supervisor. We encourage all employees to discuss their unique situations with their supervisors to determine the most appropriate solution. To ensure the safety of family members and the St. Kate's community, employees may not bring children or elders to work with them, even if they are well.

Yes. Testing and treatment for COVID-19 if ordered by your physician will be covered under the University’s healthcare plan. The cost of the test will be fully covered. Co-pays would apply if you are seen face to face with the doctor. Virtuwell is free if you are within the first three visits and Doctor on Demand is a $10 co-pay.

All employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit. In these rapidly changing times, the University is not able to guarantee that we will be able to issue a paper check in the event that we are sheltered in place nor can we guarantee the certainty of timely mail delivery.

Direct deposit form

As a University employee, you automatically have access to our Employee Assistance Program—a confidential resource available to help you with life’s everyday issues. The EAP covers you and your household family members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When you contact The Life Assistance Program, you can speak to a counselor or other professional who can help with issues such as parenting issues, work-related issues, relationship problems, substance abuse problems, self-improvement, mental health issues, financial concerns, and legal referral assistance.

For more information or to receive support, call 800-538-3543 or visit The Life Assistance Program website

Technology and Virtual Communication

To ease the transition between working in your home office and your St. Catherine University office, we suggest the following:

  • Your work laptop, monitor(s), and docking station can be brought home for you to set up in your home office. You are responsible for disconnecting and reconnecting equipment as needed.

  • Your work laptop should be your home office device. It contains our University software and is easily supported remotely from our Helpdesk if you should run into any issues. 

  • Headsets that may help you to be hands free with improved sound for your classes are available for you to pick up if desired. Request one using our Coronavirus Technology Form.

  • Items that SHOULD NOT be removed include: 

    • Mounted or attached monitors or equipment.

    • Office furniture (chairs, etc.)

    • White boards/dry erase boards. 

  • Phones cannot be brought home, and unfortunately our system cannot consistently forward work calls to your home or mobile phone. We are working on a new phone system, which may roll that out within the next few months if testing goes well. Until then, we ask that you update your voicemail and check messages frequently. (You can access your voicemail by calling your extension and hitting *).

 

The University has two primary virtual meeting tools. If you have not already, we recommend you have practiced using the one(s) appropriate for you and/or refreshing your knowledge about how to use the tools. It is important to note that heavy volume times will likely result in visible issues with connectivity, fuzzy pictures, or sound issues. Be familiar with the tools so you can understand if the problems can be resolved or need to be managed.

  • Google Hangouts Meet is used for most meeting and class purposes. Visit Google Hangouts Meet for a cheat sheet on the primary capabilities, including setting up a meeting, joining a meeting, recording a meeting, and managing the sound.

    • Hangouts Meet is integrated into your Google calendar and can be added by selecting “Add conferencing” when you create a new meeting invite. 

  • Collaborate Ultra is used primarily for Brightspace/D2L integrated online classes. Visit Collaborate Ultra - Getting Started for information on using this tool, or complete the Coronavirus Technology Form and include your course details for setup.

Use best practices for meetings:

  • Set up and test your connections and equipment in advance.

  • Use a headset with a microphone, if available.

  • Unless you are speaking, mute your audio to avoid distractions and background noise.

  • Try not to interrupt other speakers. Consider using chat to insert an idea without disruption.

  • Check your video to make sure the viewable area around you is neat and appropriate for work. Maintain a work appropriate appearance.

  • When facilitating a meeting, invite people to participate instead of asking open questions to prevent overtalking by several participants.

  • Be prepared for connectivity challenges by one or more persons. Know your alternative actions and attempt to move forward without potential resolution for all.

A quick and easy alternative to phone calls and emails is Google Chat (similar to texting). This may be your best starting point for small groups and short interactions. During periods of high traffic, Chat will likely be your most reliable form of communication.  

  • Review the Google Chat quick reference guide for information on how to setup and use chat and its features.

  • You can access Chat from your left navigation in email or open a chat window from your browser by going to Chat.google.com    

  • Chat is a great tool for working with a team.  It’s similar to being in a virtual office where you can see who is at their desk and ask them a quick question.

  • Similar to texting, you can chat with one or more people and quickly jump to a video call through your PC without having to look someone up in the directory or setting up a meeting.

  • Chat rooms allow teams to work together on projects, share documents, and instantly add video meetings. This feature is only available when using Google Chat from your browser (chat.google.com or select “Chat” from Google apps on your chrome browser). All other chats will also appear in this window.

Due to high volume usage nationwide, bandwidth will be in short supply, which may be periodic or lasting. Largely these issues are outside of the University’s control and are dependent on your remote working space or on the cloud software which is being used. 

It is important during this time that we are empathetic to each person’s unique circumstances and remain flexible in how to be as accommodating as possible. Here are some suggestions to help make this easier.

  • Home internet: Your home internet may prove challenging, especially when it is shared with others. Here are some suggestions to make your experience better:

    • Know what is running on your internet and remove anything unnecessary. For example, turn on a radio rather than streaming on your laptop.

    • Close unnecessary windows on your computer. Depending on what is open, you may have windows constantly updating in the background.

    • Remove extra devices such as webcams and use your laptop camera and sound.

    • The University’s coronavirus info website page has recommendations for those without internet capabilities (see Other Resources at the bottom of the page).

    • Additional suggestions for testing and improving your network are available on the University’s coronavirus FAQ (see Classes and Academics).

  • Managing classes/meetings: Video requires a lot of bandwidth. Some people may not consistently be able to connect. Here are suggestions to help when this occurs:

    • Be empathetic to people who struggle to connect; they likely are experiencing a high degree of frustration themselves. Allow 5-10 minutes max to work through issues, and then move on or decide to record and send materials later.

    • Allow extra time at the start of meetings to allow people the time to work through their issues. After a reasonable time, stop waiting and suggest alternatives for them to catch up after the meeting.

    • Put materials on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. People can call into the meeting and view these materials online to follow along. Accessing these web resources does not upload and download video, making this a much less taxing option.

    • Record meetings if not everyone can connect. This will allow those who were not successful connecting to catch up on their time when their connection improves.

    • Keep meetings precise and use alternative tools such as email or chat to stay connected to people who may have less bandwidth.

    • Remind students they can request a laptop through our Coronavirus Technology Form if they do not have one or are having issues.

    • While an iPad or phone can connect to a classroom, a laptop provides more functionality and is the only option when presenting or facilitating a meeting.

Not sure what to do? Here is how you can get help:

  • Visit ServiceNow to access hundreds of self help articles; we’ve included a sampling of popular articles below. Simply type in a key word and click on the article of choice for step by step instructions. ServiceNow can be accessed from the University website by clicking “My St. Kate’s” and selecting “Faculty and Staff.”  ServiceNow is a key link at the top of the page.

  • Need technical assistance? Your best option is to complete the Coronavirus Technology Form. IT has a team online resolving, responding, and tracking these tickets.

  • Call the Helpdesk at 651-690-6402. Phone capacity issues and staffing limitations exist, so if your need is not urgent, please complete the form above.