June 10, 2020, Briefing - Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
Questions submitted for this briefing include these topics:
- Clinical Ladder Awards
- Contracted Employees
- COVID-19 Infection and Health Care Workers
- Return to Campus for High-Risk Employees in Care Positions
- Return-to-Campus Procedures
- Telecommuting Moving Forward
- Training in Labs for New Hires
At this time, we are not planning to make any changes to the clinical ladder payments. We want to continue to support and encourage professional growth for the staff and the payments are for work completed over the previous year. Please note that our clinical ladders do not indicate that everyone who participates receives the payout. There are strict requirements for completion of work above and beyond designated roles at UT Southwestern.
UT Southwestern does outsource some of our food and custodial services in campus buildings, but our CUH and Zale food services, custodial, and environmental employees are directly employed by UTSW. For our contracted employees, we do not have access to all information on worker pay or benefits, but our contracted custodial staff is paid above minimum wage and does receive Affordable Care Act-compliant benefits.
UT Southwestern has implemented Infectious Diseases prevention practices and safety protocols in order to protect our staff and faculty, including:
- Screening all employees, visitors, and patients in clinical buildings
- Pre-op/procedure COVID-19 testing/screening
- Implementing universal masking
- Providing hygiene stations
- Practicing social distancing
For the privacy of all employees, we will not be releasing any specific information regarding locations of COVID-19 infections, but if you have been exposed you will be contacted by Occupational Health for contact tracing.
Those wishing to contribute can make a financial contribution to our COVID-19 Provider Assistance Fund, which will help provide for meals, child care, and other needs as they arise. Donations of meals and PPE are being coordinated through our Office of Development and Alumni Relations. They can be reached by email or by phone at 214-648-8988. (Source: Janelle Browne)
All high-risk health care employees (those over age 65, in their third trimester of pregnancy, or with underlying health conditions) can voluntarily return to patient care by speaking with their immediate supervisor. If there are concerns or you are advised not to return to campus, please speak with your supervisor or Divisional Chief to discuss options and coordinate with Human Resources.
Employee information and FAQs regarding return to campus can be found on our UT Southwestern Return-to-Campus website. Employees should follow social distancing guidelines, including floor markings and elevator recommendations. Please speak with your immediate supervisor to discuss specific plans for your department regarding concerns, social distancing, meetings, and masking.
Our current UT Southwestern telecommuting policy is outlined in policy EMP-162 Telecommuting. We recognize that for many, remote work has been efficient and productive, and we will be reassessing our policy on telecommuting in the coming months. Please continue to monitor our COVID-19 website and your email for further information.
Asymptomatic teachers and trainees should wear proper PPE, including masks, gloves, lab coats, and glasses while working together and also take periodic breaks (e.g., every 10 minutes) from side-by-side training.