Fall Transition FAQs for Staff

Posted: Jun 7, 2021 10:28 AM   |  Updated: Jun 7, 2021 11:15 AM

This page has been created to address staff questions about fall on campus. It will be updated regularly. 

Who will be working on campus this fall?

This fall, we will prioritize work from campus for staff who are needed to support increased student activity, with other staff continuing to work from home or a blend of on-campus and remote work based on operational needs.

The COVID-19 Advisory Committee has developed principles that will be used by business units to make decisions about staff work location for the fall term.

Talk to your supervisor if you have questions about your working arrangement this fall. Work continues on broader principles and guidelines to help make decisions on the future of work at NAIT longer term.

What if I’m required to work from campus this fall but have a medical need that requires me to continue working from home for a while longer?

We have a duty to accommodate staff with medical needs. If you require a medical accommodation, you will need to work through our HR accommodation process with your leader, human resources consultant and ability management.

What if I’m not required to work on campus in the fall, but prefer to for personal reasons?

If you would like to work from campus for personal reasons that are unrelated to a medical requirement, you will need to work with your leader and human resources consultant. This decision is ultimately up to the leader based on institutional and team needs.

If I am teaching both on campus and online, will I need to travel back and forth from campus to my home? Will there be a classroom I can deliver from?

Scheduling is working with programs to minimize the back and forth of instructors as much as possible. Instructors have a 2-hour window built into their schedule to ensure there is sufficient time to transition from campus to online teaching at home, if needed.

If an instructor has a specific scheduling need as part of a medical accommodation, that is supported by scheduling. For example, if the booking of a classroom space is part of what is required to support the accommodation, they work within our existing process to make those arrangements.

If instructors would prefer to teach their online courses from campus, they should discuss this request with their leader.

What if I am required to work from campus but don't feel safe?

This is an understandable concern, and one that can be addressed through a conversation between you and your supervisor.

Staff and students have been safely working and learning on campus throughout the pandemic.

We anticipate some COVID-19 safety measures could be in place this fall. The safety measures will be informed by the needs of our community and the public health guidance we receive.

What safety measures will be in place to help keep everyone safe on campus?

As outlined in the provincial government’s Open for Summer plan, we may see no public health restrictions this fall if vaccine targets are met.

We anticipate some COVID-19 safety measures could be in place at NAIT this fall. The safety measures will be informed by the needs of our community and the public health guidance we receive. All staff and students will be provided clear direction on what they need to do.

Staff and students have been safely working and learning on campus throughout the pandemic and we will continue to prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our community as we make decisions about fall and beyond. In September 2020, we had an average of 5,900 students, instructors and lab technicians on campus each week. That rose to 7,100 in winter term.

Multiple layers of infection prevention measures (masks, face shields, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, for example), coming to campus guidelines (daily health checks, staying home when sick and daily check-ins) and protocols for responding to positive cases on campus have helped us keep the risk of on-campus transmission of COVID-19 low.

Safety planning is an ongoing responsibility of all supervisors, and all business units operating on campus will require safety plans that reflect current guidance and COVID-19 safety measures. As COVID-19 safety measures are finalized for fall, further support and guidance will be provided to business units in completing these plans.

Learn more: Your Safety on Campus, Coming to Campus Guidelines and Response to COVID-19 Cases

Can we have events or meetings on campus this fall?

As public health guidelines and provincial gathering restrictions change through the Open for Summer stages, events at NAIT will be allowed to resume on campus following principles being developed by the COVID-19 Advisory Committee. The sponsoring business unit will be required to develop a safety plan that reflects current guidance and COVID-19 safety measures. As COVID-19 safety measures are finalized for fall, further support and guidance will be provided to business units in completing these plans.

Please work with Central Conference and Events when planning for events both for on campus or virtual events as they will be able to help you plan and coordinate the event safely and within the guidelines.

As decisions are made around meetings or group gatherings on campus, we will inform the NAIT community.

What services will be open on campus this fall?

The COVID-19 Advisory Committee has developed principles that will be used by business units to make decisions about on-campus services. We will communicate with the community as decisions are made about how services will be offered this fall

Services offered on campus must align with any public health restrictions and the province’s reopening plan. Decisions about on-campus support services will consider what the NAIT community could reasonably expect to be offered on-campus. For fall 2021, we will continue to plan virtual support services for those that can be offered virtually without impact to the business unit outcomes and with consideration of financial sustainability. On-campus support services will scale to match the projected increased on-campus footfall.

Will we be able to work from home long-term, either part time or full time?

We know staff have many questions about longer-term work arrangements and what this means for their schedule, expectations of being on campus, implications for their NAIT office/ workstation and more.

Guidance around longer-term distributed work will be provided in the coming months to support leaders and business units in making decisions.

Post-pandemic, NAIT is supportive of a distributed work model, with more flexibility in work arrangements when operationally feasible, though planning for this transition is in the early stages. 

We do know that at this point, we won’t be approving out of country work arrangements, as there are many complex factors to consider (e.g., labour laws, taxation rules, etc.) However, we will be exploring full- and part-time out of province employment opportunities as part of this work.

Will NAIT continue to offer the stipend to staff who are working from home, either part time or full time?

The current work from home stipend will continue for fall 2021 for staff who are required to work from home more than 50% of the time. Staff who are working from campus the majority of the time will not receive the stipend. Leaders need to inform Human Resources as changes occur. The stipend comes from the budgets of each business unit.

When will class delivery decisions be made for winter term and beyond?

Our planning must continue to evolve as our external environment changes, and we do anticipate further revisions to schedules for winter term. We want to minimize disruption to students and staff and any adjustments to our current approach will be communicated as early as possible. Scheduling timelines and process for winter will be shared as soon as possible.

We are confident we will be able to have more programs get closer to their ideal method of delivery for the winter term. In the longer term, once COVID is no longer at the centre of our decision-making, we will determine the principles that will guide how we implement our future blended approach to education.

For questions about vaccinations, please visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.