Williams staff and faculty,
As you may know, yesterday Massachusetts Governor Baker extended the state’s stay at home advisory through May 4. Schools and all non-essential businesses are to remain closed during this period.
I want you to know that Williams will continue with our own essential-personnel staffing policy for that same duration. While we understand that the extension will create inconveniences and even challenges, experts continue to emphasize social distancing as one of the most promising ways to slow the COVID-19 transmission rate and protect people’s health. Aligning our policy with the state order hopefully also provides flexibility for personnel with school-age children.
Meanwhile, you may also know that approximately 100 staff members are continuing to report to campus to support essential operations. We are limiting time on campus stringently, to those services with a direct bearing on people’s health and safety, continuity of critical operations, and the maintenance and protection of college property.
On behalf of the college, I want to thank these staff members for their exceptional commitment. In order to acknowledge their hard work and special contributions during the pandemic, staff in eligible positions will receive a pandemic pay shift differential of $5 per hour on top of their standard pay rate. The increase will be retroactive to March 17th, when campus closed, and run through the duration of the stay at home order, until May 4th. Employees who come to campus on a rotating schedule will receive the differential for all hours worked on campus. During off weeks, they will report their standard hours and be compensated at their normal rate.
The differential will be provided to staff working in critical safety operations, facilities services maintenance, culinary services, and other direct public service roles. Identified departments and positions include:
Campus Safety: officers and dispatchers
Dining: all chefs and cooks, bakers, prep and service attendants, dishwashers, snack bar attendants, stock room staff, and utility workers
Facilities: custodians, all trades, groundskeepers, health and safety staff, and power plant engineers
Office of Students Life: mailroom staff
Student Medical Services: nurses
Science Center: animal caretakers
If you have questions about whether the differential applies to your position, please contact your department head.
The temporary increase is meant to provide meaningful, equitable support for staff and demonstrate our collective appreciation for their extra commitment. Providing it in the form of a uniform pay differential allows us to recognize these efforts in a fiscally responsible and equitable manner during these unprecedented times.
We would like to take this moment to thank them, and all of you who are working in your own ways to support the college’s mission.
Danielle Gonzalez, Director of Human Resources
Fred Puddester, Treasurer and Vice President for Finance