Dear actionuni members,
The current covid-19 pandemic is putting significant pressure on academic mid-level staff members. All physical teaching has been currently suspended, yet research and administrative activities are meant to continue as before in many universities across the country.
Those of us who have school-aged children are now faced with school closure and no concrete measures for alternative care-taking options. This exacerbates the already difficult situation at work and creates much stress and anxiety in a professional category that has its fair share of both on a regular basis.
This is an aspect that, in calmer times, will have to be raised on a national level. Expecting mid-level staff to work and, in some cases and at the same time, care for children without delegating to grandparents who are at a higher risk of severe complications, is simply incoherent and frankly incomprehensible.
Given the current severity of the situation, we are suspending all actionuni initiatives that would require board members and other delegates to travel to meet, effective immediately. Similarly and as many of you have already done, we urge you to reschedule all initiatives that are not absolutely essential, to safer times.
Yesterday’s governmental press conference underlined the necessity to do all we can, together, as a community, to stop spreading this infection to the more vulnerable and fragile among us.
We all have to:
- wash our hands frequently
- stay home if ill
- keep a safe distance of at least 1 meter when engaged in social interaction
- avoid inter-generational mixing as much as possible
We recommend you to:
- engage in home-office activities whenever possible
- modify commuting habits by avoiding public transportation if possible
- collaborate with department and institute heads to facilitate operations while maintaining worktime flexibility
- make use of the many available online tools to facilitate distance learning and teaching
- encourage others, whenever possible and in line with contractual obligations, to work from home
We urge you to keep abreast of all developments by consulting the official website of the federal department of health (BAG). New measures such as a reduction in public mobility may be put in place in the near future so we advise you to stay updated. Uni Lausanne has adopted this policy yesterday already and other universities will likely follow soon.
We from actionuni wish you all the best in these trying times and look forward to getting back to our work in a safe and normalized environment.
With our best wishes,
Carmen Faso, Isabel Bolliger and Rashmi Rai-Rawat