It is difficult to overstate the magnitude and variety of stresses the current pandemic is causing in the lives of people within our community and everywhere else. PSU classes have been moved to remote instruction, while at the same time support staff are providing their regular or expanded services remotely. Schools and daycares are closed, forcing many employees to pull double-duty as stay-at-home parents while working full-time jobs.
Yet many of the people who supervise PSU’s academic professionals have decided to require those professionals to provide a daily reporting of tasks – essentially, an accounting of what they’ve accomplished at work every day, presumably to ensure they’re still being sufficiently productive employees during a global pandemic. Under standard remote work conditions this type of micromanagement of professionals would be inappropriate and condescending and it is also violation of contract and law. Given the added personal and financial stress with which many members of our community are dealing, this type of daily requirement is especially painful. It sets up an inequality between people who have extra care responsibilities at home and those who do not. It sends the message that productivity is paramount, even during a moment when what most people are trying to do is simply survive.
Employees at PSU are thankful to have stable jobs we can do from home, but compassion from management would go a long way to showing that the University cares about the wellbeing of its workforce. This means realizing some people aren’t going to be able to work like they did before this global pandemic, and being okay with that. When we’re on the other other side of this, what people are going to remember is how we treated each other.
Know that we are talking with management about this problem for APs. We are also asking that you alert PSU-AAUP leadership if you have experienced something similar and/or something new/odd in the workplace. Please reach out to us. Concerns about a situation need not necessarily lead to a grievance and we can often informally resolve conflicts with management if and only if we know about it. Email our Executive Director, Phil Lesch (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are experiencing something new that does not seem quite right.