In This Together DC: Update on Human Resources activities

As part of our In This Together DC email series, today’s update will share with you details about ongoing Human Resources (HR) activities, and the importance of staying connected.

The shift to online learning and fully remote work, along with the essential services operational model, has been a significant change for us in terms of how our daily work is accomplished and how we connect with our colleagues and students. While previously there was some course delivery taking place online, and some ability to do our work remotely, I don’t think any of us could have predicted the substantial change that COVID-19 has had on our working and daily lives.

These unprecedented times have also presented an opportunity to re-imagine how to accomplish some of the work we do. HR has focused on re-aligning our services for remote delivery, including various administrative processes. In April, full-time administrative and support staff were asked to utilize vacation and lieu time balances. Additionally, the difficult decision was made to implement temporary layoffs and allow the majority of part-time term contracts to expire. The Client Services team is also currently working across the college on re-deployment opportunities for staff who have availability because of a shift in workload.

The Professional Development (PD) and Wellness team have focused on important college-wide supports in the shift to remote work, including implementing the Work@home page on ICE and planning a new series of webinars focused on personal health and wellness as well as topics unique to the current circumstances related to COVID-19. Stay tuned, more information on this series will follow shortly.  In addition to the ICE page, a great way to stay connected to PD and Wellness activities is by following our twitter @Durham_PD account, or joining the weekly coffee break sessions where you can chat with colleagues about various work and non-work related topics. Schedules for these sessions are posted to Work@home.

HR is also staying connected provincially to learn how other colleges are responding to the pandemic, and have kept in regular contact with both of DC’s local unions. Efforts on behalf of the locals in keeping communications channels open is appreciated.

Finally, as we all forge into a future that remains uncertain, but will certainly be changed, the HR team continues to look for opportunities to align our services and support staying connected – together, leading the way.

Jennifer Cosway,
Associate vice-president, Human Resources