What supervisors need to know to prepare their teams for the fall
With days to go before the start of the fall semester, and a global pandemic shaping the way we support our students, supervisors have some logistical questions about what to expect for the start of the fall term.
Main doors to all buildings on McMaster’s main campus will be unlocked during the day of August 27, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. Additional information on building openings can be found below. Here’s what you need to know.
In this guide:
- Coming to Campus Every Day – Daily Check In
- Mandatory Vaccinations
- Masks and Physical Distancing
- Supervisor checklist
- Building hours
- Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
- Composting office plants
- Where to eat on campus
- Facilitating flexible scheduling requests
- New hires
- How to report positive cases
- Supervisor resources
Before you arrive
Coming to Campus Every Day – Daily Check In
All staff, faculty and students are required to complete a Daily Check In on the COVID-19 screening app. A new app is being developed for fall; there will not be screening stations at building or McMaster site entrances, but supervisors must verify that their team members have clearance to be onsite. Supervisors will not have access to team members’ personal information. More details on this will be shared soon.
All staff and faculty are required to complete the COVID-19 Awareness training prior to accessing campus. A new Back to McMaster COVID-19 training will replace this training in the coming weeks. Individuals who have already completed the previous training will not be required to complete the new training module.
Mandatory vaccinations will be required as of September 7, 2021.
Between September 7 and October 18, those attending university locations (or placements in hospitals and health facilities) who are not yet fully vaccinated, or who have not received an exemption from the university for a validated human rights ground, will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID test result twice a week. McMaster will have an onsite testing facility that will be open as of September 7.
Proof of vaccinations and testing will be submitted through the new McMaster app which is in its final stages of development.
Supervisors will be expected to verify all members of their team/department working onsite have clearance to come to campus. This process is still in development, and additional information will be sent as soon as it is available.
Exemptions from this policy will be made for grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code which includes confirmed medical reasons. Human Resources Services and, Equity and Inclusion Office and Student Accessibility Services will assist with exemptions based on human rights grounds and any accommodation questions, concerns and requests. More information on processes for employees to submit requests for exemptions will be provided to the community in the coming days.
Individuals who interact with students or the public will have the ability to ask for confirmation of clearance to be on campus.
Masks and Physical Distancing
Masks are mandatory on campus for all indoor spaces, and in outdoor settings when 2 metre/6 feet distance cannot be maintained. Cloth masks are acceptable except within hospital buildings, where a medical mask is required.
McMaster expects that all community members will adhere to the health and safety measures put in place for the protection of the community. The University continues to take an educational approach toward informing all community members of health and safety requirements while on-site (physical distancing, masking, other standard operating procedures). University approved posters and wayfinding materials are available to support communication of expectations in your work environment.
If you encounter someone who is not wearing a mask, please ensure you are wearing your mask and maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres and speak with your supervisor about any concerns. The University encourages respectful interactions in support of a positive work environment, inclusivity and community experience.
In situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained with someone who is not wearing a mask or face covering, eye protection is also required.
Parking fees for all McMaster parking lots will be reinstated in September for faculty, staff and students. McMaster parking permit holders can choose a full-time or part-time parking pass or place their parking on hold by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
EOHSS has provided a Workplace COVID-19 Supervisor Checklist, which includes a Hierarchy of Hazard Control. Supervisors will assess their space using this checklist and advise if redesigning or modifying the work area may be required. Modifications could include moving furniture, using vacant office spaces, rotating employee schedules or installing barriers such as plexiglass. Plexiglass would be used only after all other considerations for spacing individuals have been reviewed, mainly in client or student facing areas like a service desk.
To request the movement of furniture, please contact Facilities Services at extension 24740 or email at email@example.com. To request plexiglass for a reception or student facing area, please submit a service request.
Within the Faculty of Health Sciences please contact FHS Corporate Services.
Please note that we are experiencing a high demand for work orders at the present time and will do our very best to meet the needs of the campus community as quickly as possible.
Buildings on campus will be open on Friday, August 27th from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Beginning Monday, August 30, buildings on campus will be open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Starting September 7th, the schedule for opening and closing of buildings will be adjusted to cover class times. If supervisors have any questions or require access to specific areas, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to have access added to your Working@MAC photo id card authorized. Security Services can also assist in an emergency by calling ext.24281.
The majority of buildings on McMaster’s main campus are mechanically ventilated with MERV-13 filters installed. Five buildings on campus are not mechanically ventilated and McMaster plans to install standalone high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units. Review the list of campus buildings by ventilation type. Supervisors must email FSUtilitiesClerk@mcmaster.ca to inform them about plans to occupy the offices or meeting spaces in the buildings without mechanical ventilation to request installation. Please allow 10 days for installation.
Custodial Services have been thoroughly cleaning all areas on McMaster’s main campus. If something was missed, please contact our Customer Service staff at ext.24740 or email at email@example.com.
It is not necessary for Supervisors to inform Custodial Services about your individual team’s plans for the fall, however you can contact Carlos Figueira, Director of Custodial, Grounds, Logistics and Mail Services at ext. 28695 if you have any questions or concerns as individuals begin to return.
Departments in the Faculty of Health Sciences can contact FHS Corporate Services with questions.
Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
These are provided in public spaces. For departmental offices or meeting spaces, both hand sanitizer and wipes can be purchased from the Campus Store.
Back to Mac signage is available to help reinforce Health and Safety protocols. Signage can be ordered from Media Production Services.
Composting Office Plants
Sadly, some of us may return to office spaces to find plants that are no longer alive. Facility Services is offering a more sustainable disposal option, including composting the natural plant material and recycling the container if possible. Please bring any plants you no longer want to the green bin located in the receiving area beside Chester New Hall.
Where to Eat on Campus
Many hospitality services locations will be open. Details and hours of operation are posted on the Hospitality Services website.The university is still operating under the province of Ontario’s Step 3 restrictions, which means employees need to remain physically distanced while eating.
Supporting your team
It is normal for some to be apprehensive about the fall return to campus.
There are workshops and sessions available to help supervisors work through this transition. Fall is expected to be a period of transition and leading your teams with empathy and kindness will help your team feel supported. Creating a psychologically safe workspace should also be considered. Many employees also have access to the Employee & Family Assistance Program and can be reminded of this confidential service available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Facilitating Flexible Scheduling Requests
Supervisors are asked to plan work arrangements based on operational needs but recognize that flexibility and finding new ways of working is going to be important to employees.
Be creative to prioritize service to students, teaching and research, while supporting your team through the transition. Very few positions at McMaster can be delivered in a fully remote format.
Contact your HR Strategic Partner or Employee and Labour Relations contact if you have questions or need support in planning flexible work arrangements for different staff groups.
Many new staff and faculty who have joined McMaster since March 2020 have never been on campus. Consider opportunities to introduce them to the campus environment and workspace.
Staff and faculty hired in the last 12-18 months may require an ID Badge. To Request a photo access card – Send their name and employee # to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm employment. Once employment is confirmed they will need to provide a government sized photo through email@example.com.
How to Report Positive Cases
If you or someone on your team test positive for COVID-19, McMaster students, faculty and staff are reminded to use the new self-reporting tool in Mosaic to report a confirmed COVID-19 test result.
This tool is confidential and helps the university track confirmed cases on campus and ensure appropriate cleaning and safety protocols are put into place promptly.
The Step-by-Step Guide for faculty and staff provides additional information.
Additional supervisor resources are available to support fall planning.
Reach out to your Human Resources partners for additional assistance.