City Manager Town Hall

Combined Questions and Answers 

Town Hall Q and A

Contents

CMO   1

Human Resources  1

Alternative Work Schedules 

1

Boards and Commissions 

1

Budget, Funding

Community and Employee Resources 

1

Compensation 

1

Contact Info 

1

Curfew 

1

Debriefing, Town Hall Updates 

1

Documentation 

1

Donated Leave 

1

Donations/Volunteering 

1

Equipment, Supplies, Software 

1

Essential vs. Nonessential

1

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Pandemic Leave 

1

Federal Assistance 

1

Furlough 

1

High Risk 

1

Hiring 

1

In-Office Protocol

1

Kidco, Childcare 

1

Kronos 

1

Layoffs 

1

Leave Abuse, Approval, Mandatory, Sick Leave

Leave Without Pay 

1

Mandatory Leave 

1

Lifecare 

1

New Employees 

1

Nonpermanent, Probationary Employees 

1

Outside Employment

1

Overtime 

1

Personal Leave 

1

Phones 

1

Preparedness 

1

Re-opening 

1

Redeploying Employees 

1

Redeploying Resources 

1

Reporting to Work 

1

Retirement/Pension 

1

Retroactive Leave 

1

Personal Protective Equipment, Safety, Sanitizing Protocol

1

Sensitivity 

1

Stay at Home 

1

Testing 

1

Time Sheets 

1

Tuition Reimbursement

1

Unused Leave 

1

Utility Shutoffs 

1

Wellness 

1

Work from Home 

1

InfoTech  1

Safety  1

 

 

 

 

CMO


Question


Answer


Thanks for taking the time to put this together. You mentioned that the mayor and council were trying to see what sort of federal funding options are available... could you expand upon this a bit please. What does this mean? Will the city receive funding from the CARES act? How and what are we doing to receive funds, and how do you feel about the probability of us receiving federal money?


The Federal Government has signed into law 3 stimulus packages. We are analyzing all the requirements for these dollars and will apply for everything that we can.  Details have not been released on many of the requirements so we do not currently know have much the City will receive from the stimulus packages yet. We will be keeping Mayor and Council appraised of programs available to us and the potential for grants or reimbursements. To that end, it is imperative for the City of Tucson to track this time and capture all related expenses due to this COVID-19 Pandemic as there may be a possibility of reimbursement from the government in the future. Please be sure to enter your daily time sheet if you are working on COVID-19 items and save the PDF for your files once submitted.

For example: Attending meetings, creating/developing FAQs, updating policies, creating/testing codes, developing training, etc.

Link to enter time provided.
NOTE: Form is no longer in use


When is the next town hall meeting that is to be scheduled?


Town hall meetings are currently held every Wednesday morning at 9am for one hour, and Wednesday evenings at 5:30pm for 30 minutes


Is the city going to defer their portion of the payroll tax


The City does not have payroll taxes.  Employees pay federal and state taxes and Employees and employers pay into Medicare and social security.


What are your biggest concerns regarding the current crisis? Are there any estimates on the possible long-term economic impacts?


We do not have any good estimates on the possible long-term economic impacts yet.  We have looked at different scenarios but there are many factors we do not know.  As we receive information, we will update Mayor and Council and all of you.


Where can we find out about city services that have changed, tents, what buildings etc. and what can we do to help you?


All City of Tucson updates related to COVID-19, including changes in city services are updated daily on our website

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/covid-19/covid-19-updates


How often will you be doing these Virtual Town Halls? Thank you for keeping us employees updated


The plan is to do Virtual Town Halls weekly.


Are any additional considerations being made for the residents and staff of large Public Housing communities, such as MLK and Tucson House, in case of an COVID-19 outbreak within those communities?


Housing and Community Development has provided protocols and cleaning procedures on our COVID-19 website

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hcd/housing-and-community-development-covid-19-preparedness


For those still working who use Sun Tran services - do you know if there be schedule changes, including express routes? 


Transportation and Mobility has provided COVID-19 related updates on our website

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/tdot/transportation-and-mobility-covid-19


Will Park Wise suspend charges at meters and garages?


Park Tucson has provided Take-Out parking zones and additional information on their website
https://www.tucsonaz.gov/park-tucson


Is the city doing anything to help the small, locally owned businesses who are struggling now?


The City is working with its partners to help the small, locally owned businesses.  Our Economic Initiatives team has held virtual town halls and is providing information to the business community on where to obtain help.


I know Tucson Water and City of Tucson leadership has agreed to not shut off water and not charge late fees during this pandemic, but is TW and CoT turning on water for those whose water was turned off before the pandemic?


Tucson Water will not disconnect potable water service for non-payment. Those currently disconnected will be re-connected. Customers will be responsible to pay for all water service received during this time and should continue to make payments of their Utility Services Bill to avoid higher bill at a later date. This policy will be in effect through April 17, at which point we will reexamine our policies.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/tucson-water-covid-19-preparedness


Will you personally be taking a financial cut like other big companies to help prevent the possibility of layoffs?


We will work very hard to prevent layoffs. We are all in this together.


When everything is over, what are we putting in place to assist customers get back on track.


It will take all of us working together to help our customers to get back on track.  We currently don't have a plan but will work with our many partners to revitalize the community. 


If we are non-essential, and can’t work from home, can we volunteer for a non-profit or other “helping” organization in lieu of using leave or going into a LWOP situation?


Please visit our City of Tucson Jobs website for re-deployment opportunities within the City.

www.tucsonaz.gov/jobs


Are there any big changes for Streets Division?


No


How much is City revenue affected by COVID in regards the sales tax?


Revenue impact discusssions will begin at the April 14 Council Meeting and be part of the Live Update with the City Manager on April 15.


Working with COVID19 Hotline and constituents are complaining about being unable to speak with State people . . . Unemployment? When will they receive Federal Unemployment funds?


The state has increased the number of call takers significantly, but is still receiving a tremendous amount of calls. The City cannot provide an answer on federal unemployment at this time.


Good morning Mr. Ortega, I know other states have been hit hard with Covid-19, how bad has Tucson been hit with this virus and are we going to see it get worst?


The Arizona Department of Health Services is providing all of the data related to COVID 19 cases. You can find the data on their website.


Do we have a plan to move BCCs to a virtual platform?


That has not yet been determined.


If this is going to be a long-term thing, are we able to get City Phones instead of using our personal cell phones?


We will not be issuing phones at this time. IT is working on a solution and information will be posted as soon as it's available.


What kind of questions is the hotline receiving? Isn't it duplicative to the Pima County hotline?

 


The City Services Hotline was initiated to help people access City services after we closed our buildings to the public. It also assists with calls to Council Offices. It is not duplicative


Can we have a mandate for people who enter grocery stores without any protection? Meaning no mask no entrance. I see so many people walking around so cavalier jeopardizing employees and patrons. Is there anything that can be done?


The City is not considering action like this at this time.


City employees including Fire & Police... Have we set up a group to help those who may have Corona Virus and may need, food and so on.  Stress of taking care of the home is always high to all.


The Emergency Operations Center is actively working on a quarantine plan for City employees.


Good morning. Are you/can you consider using the 1/2 cent sales tax for other needs based on current situation?


We are legally obligated to use the 1/2 cent sales tax in accordance with the language that was used on the ballot when voters approved the measure.


And will the City provide COVID-19 testing for ALL employees? 


Not at this time


Does the City have business interruption insurance that might provide economic relief due to COVID19?


No, the City is self insured.


Can we have a city-wide celebration/fiesta when all this is over? A city party to celebrate our first responders, hospitals and extra special fireworks for 4th of July?


Thank you for your suggestion


Why aren't we using the term "physical distancing"? Because we are trying to maintain social connections; we just just keeping physical distance for safety.  Physical distance of 10-feet is a good goal.


Thank you for your suggestion


Would it be safe to say that if you post your answer on the FAQ's that its correct and can use as reference?


The answers provided are correct at the time they are given. Please keep in mind that this is a evolving situation and some answers may change over time.


I assume our State-shared revenue will be affected; how soon will we see those reductions?


Yes it will be affected and we will bring you that information as soon as it is made available by the state.


What is your outlook on our Tuition Reimbursement Program?


That program is currently suspended and we will let you know if that status changes.


Any money saving ideas concerning work schedules? four day work week instead of five for those working out in the field?


Thank you for the suggestion. We are going to need to examine every possible opportunity to save money moving forward.


At this time, there are no delinquent shut-offs  for Tucson Water customers.  Once this situation is over, will outstanding debts be forgiven?  Or will the City attempt to recover this money owed?


We will not disconnect potable water service for non-payment. Customers will be responsible to pay for all water service received during this time and should continue to make payments to avoid higher bill at a later date.


In terms of information related to COVID19, what media or information sources do you use?


The City is in constant contact with the Pima County Health Department and the Mayor speaks regularly with the governor's office.


Tucson skate parks . . .Do we have people monitoring them? I have seen many comments that there are large groups gathered there because the are not listed as closed.


Thank you reporting this issue. We do have people monitoring the parks and we'll bring this to their attention.


What programs are in place, or being put in place to protect the community at large - I feel like much of our "virtual" response is specific to employees, not citizens


Mayor Romero has issued two proclamations to protect public health and safety. You can read them at

http://tucsonaz.gov/covid19


When looking to a future plan please consider the MAJOR benefits of working from home a few days a week.


Thank you for your suggestion


Remote work has often necessitated use of personal cell phones, will the City be looking into cell phone cost reimbursement?


We are still examining that issue.


Once things calm down and we go back to business as usual, it will be really backed up on some of the services we provide. Are we going to be getting extra help with that?


This will be something the City will plan for as we begin to reopen to the public.


Will officers receive hazardous pay during this time or afterwards?


This issue is currently being examined and an answer should be provided soon.


Good morning, Do we have data of when Arizona will reach the peak of this pandemic?  If so, do you anticipate using this to determine when employees will return to the pre-covid work schedules?


We will provide information on when employees can return to working in office as soon as that decision is made.


Has the city offered the use of the stadiums for the potential MLB Arizona Season in June?


The City of Tucson has not been contacted yet regarding the possibility of MLB games being played here, but would will pursue the opportunity to do so as it becomes available.


Any retirement incentive offered in an effort to help with the budget?


Not at this time


What do you envision with pending contract negotiations?  Will they be extended?


Please submit further information regarding which contract negotiations you are referring to citymanager@tucsonaz.gov


Should employees on probation be worried about being laid off? Thanks


Layoffs are not being considered at this time.


Will the City strictly enforce, the stay at home rule for all employees if they are sick and or with a fever... as we all know that this virus will still be around until a vaccine is available to protect the rest of City employees?


The City has been encouraging anyone who is ill to remain at home. Supervisors have the authority to send someone who is sick home under the City Administrative Directives.


Do you see travel and conferences being suspended


City business travel is currently suspended. We will revisit the issue of travel when appropriate.


Possible idea? Allow sell-back of leave to cover tuition costs...buys down future liability but supports employees in short term.


Thank you for your suggestion


Will there be any rate increases or fee increases that may impact customers


We do not know at this time.


Is Code Enforcement essential?  The City keeping up with property owner's making sure they are cleaning up their areas, slowing the spread, most people feel is essential....


All jobs in our organization are critical to the community.


If layoffs do occur, will they be based on seniority?


Layoffs are not being considered at this time.


With traffic light these days, now would be a great time for pot hole repair . . .just saying.


Crews from the Streets & Traffic Maintenance division continue to work to keep our roadways safe, including filling potholes.


Since most people are home we are spending less, can an employee voluntarily ask for some hours to be furloughed, it would help saving some vac/sick time since we don’t know how long it is going to last, also lower tax-bracket. 


Thank you for your suggestion

 


Are city leaders monitoring changing virus model projections when determining the duration of the stay home order? What specific factors are being considered?


The City is working with health officials from the county and state to understand the current needs for our community.


Is there a plan in place for detecting and overseeing persons who have recently been in the Northern Sonora communities around Magdalena?  The woman who passed away was in a medical facility waiting room 4 times before being sent to Nogales where she died.  The outcome of COVID test (Positive) was released AFTER she had passed away.  Hundreds of Tucson area residents were there in the past month and also many persons from that area were  coming to Arizona before the news of this case were released South of the border.


That is a question best directed to the Pima County Health Department at

http://pima.gov/covid19

Human Resources

Alternative Work Schedules



Question


Answer


Do you foresee a possibility of going into work 1 day a week for even a half day to print, collect more work etc. Possibly on a rotating schedule so not many people are there at the same time.


Employees can coordinate with their supervisor to come as needed. We encourage folks not to but understand that some may need to from time to time.


What alternative work schedules are you considering to proactive social distancing and keep employees safe?


Those will be determined by Department Directors based on business needs and keeping our employees safe.

Having the option to work four 9-hour days (36 hours a week) would be something I would be willing to do. (Provided benefits are maintained at full-time). Thank you for your suggestion
So will we be able to move forward with 4/10 at HCV-Housing and Community Development? Schedule changes are up to your Director. Alternate work schedule requests should be submitted to the Human Resources Director, per AD 2.01-9 Alternate Work Schedules. Telework assignments and the transition to return to work in the office will be reviewed by each department director accordingly.

Boards and Commissions



Question


Answer


Has a decision been made on whether boards/committees can be allowed to meet online to keep public process moving? If so, is there a liaison to contact for that at Clerk's?


A decision has not been made regarding Boards and Commissions yet.

Budget/City Funds, Funding



Question


Answer


How much of the 9 million dollar surplus has been exhausted?


Sales tax revenue reports in May and June will report changes in revenue due to COVID-19 impacts. Updates will be presented at the upcoming Mayor and Council Meetings as part of the budget presentations

Is there potential to save money on real estate assets if people work remotely? 

The City will be exploring all opportunities for cost savings moving forward, including this suggestion.
Is there a "15-20% budget" cut needed?  The City needs to immediately cut expenditures in reaction to the recent revenue losses. However, because the sales tax reporting lags 60 days, the amount of budget cut needed is not yet certain.
Maybe just to help figure everyone’s budget, wouldn't it be a good idea for someone to take not of who and how many are actually retiring this year. If you let people go before knowing this information, it may be able to be avoided. Thank you for your suggestion.
I would like to suggest that the City actually cut the fee's we charge. Advertise that the Tucson is open for business! Thought there is that we would get more folks paying the fee's instead of charging less people more. Your thoughts?   Thank you for your suggestion. The City has currently tabled all discussions regarding fee increases previously scheduled for this Budget cycle
How is the City of Tucson pandemic leave being funded? The City of Tucson pandemic leave is being funded from the City of Tucson budget.
Is it possible to add a temporary tax on certain items, such as food, in order to stem a drop in other revenue streams Thank you for your suggestion. No new taxes are being considered at this time
Why not offer Bonds or options, like golden parachutes, to cash them in at maturity or fatter times in lieu of furloughs, pay cuts, or layoffs

Thank you for the suggestion.

Is $1million were giving away in loans reimbursed by Feds? If not, is that a wise expense. Yes, the $1 million no-interest loan program for small businesses is being funded by money from the federal CARES Act.         
How are we for getting are roads fixed with are half cent sales tax? Has corona damaged that? We are legally obligated to use the 1/2 cent sales tax in accordance with the language that was used on the ballot when voters approved the measure.
Currently, is there any Federal Government Bailouts for the utilitiy companies in the United States? If so can we take advantage of that to avoid using the savings we have? The City is currently analyzing how federal programs can be applied to utilities.

Community and Employee Resources including Child Care



Question


Answer


Are the Ward offices able to receive a list of various resources and programs that are COVID19 related for individuals and business?


There is a list of community resources posted to the City’s website at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/covid-19/resources-covid-19

DTP is running the gift card program that looks to be very successful. Is it possible to run a discount program for City employees to local establishments? Something like COT Employees can get a 10% discount and a list of local shops when showing their City ID. This would promote shopping local over big box and bringing money back into the local economy Thank you for your suggestion. It will be shared with the Economic Initiatives team. 
   

Compensation



Question


Answer


Will we be reimbursed for personally purchased office supplies used as we work from home (i.e. printer ink, paper, etc.)?


Please keep receipts of office supplies you purchase if you work from home and this will be reviewed once we are back to our offices.


For downtown employees working from home, will we still have parking fees deducted? I expect we will lose the parking allowance for the time working at home.


There will be no changes to the parking allowance employees receive or to the parking fees for the month of April.  We will revisit this if the crisis continues into May.


Will employees who are considered "essential" and unable to work from home receive hazard pay?


City Manager's Office is reviewing all options.


If there will be hazard pay given, will it be retro active? Which divisions of the city would be in this hazard pay bracket


City Manager's Office is reviewing all options.


Is there a possibility of early retirement package being offered like in 2013 instead of layoffs or furloughs?


All options are under review.


Maintenance technician should be considered for hazard pay are part of this conversation for this pay?


All options are under review.


Is the City considering offering incentives for retirement for employees who are eligible?


All options are under review.


Is there a possibility of an early retirement package being offered rather than having furloughs?


All options are under review.

Several millions of dollars are to be paid out during the recent pay adjustment, some employees received several dollars while others long term employees received nothing, are we going to be asked again to carry the weight of the City while others keep raking in the money, for the most part  most of us don’t even make 50k ,  This is not towards Police & Fire  I truly appreciate what they do .  The City Manager’s Office is considering many options.
Cutting salaries for the employees making a mere $10/ hr is not a good suggestion. They can barely survive. I would suggest managers and higher-ups who make quite a bit more (ie $60,000 to $200,000 per year) do so. Thank you for your suggestion.
If on loan from one department to another and have been for over a year, but not PARFd, is it possible to be without an increase in pay at least until the City recovers?                    Volunteers for furloughs, reduction in hours/pay are options the City is currently considering.  Please submit an email to HRCOVID19FAQ@tucsonaz.gov with your specific situation if we did not capture the essence of your question. 
If everything's on the table, are the following being considered: 2nd language pay, skill-based pay and downtown parking allowance? Yes, everything is being considered. However, the City is not currently looking to eliminate any of the compensation items you mentioned.
Although we are dedicated and grateful for our jobs- Many of us have not experienced an increase for performance through the past 12yrs, can we anticipate another long term recovery period? As the economiy recovers, the City will continue to look for ways to fulfll the employee retention plan as well as institute pay for perforamnce increases. At this time, the focus will be continuation of city services, as well as the preservation of positions currently filled and funded. The exact impact of this pandemic on the COT is still being determined, but a long recovery period can be anticipated as the pandemic continues.

Do you consider decompression efforts as a success?

The City was successful in the abilty to afford wage adjustments through decompression.  The decompression efforts were geared towards addressing many years of wage stagnation.
Is the City considering suspending/eliminating longevity pay as a cost savings? The City is currently not contemplating suspending the Longevity Pay.  There are just a handful of employees that are eligible for this with the City.

Will the movement towards equity still include incentives for achievement, instead of just giving handouts to those who are at the bottom?  Being a minority or a woman or low income doesn’t automatically mean I need help to be as successful as everyone else.  I hope we don’t disincentivize personal responsibility and determination.

Details regarding the Mayor and Council’s equity plan will be forthcoming. 

Contact Info



Question


Answer


If my HR department is giving me answers who can I contact?


Contact information for Human Resources is available on the COT website. For info and answers related to COVID-19 please visit the COT Employee COVID-19 web page.

COT COVID-19 Webpage (updated daily) https://www.tucsonaz.gov/covid-19/city-employee-information-covid-19

City of Tucson HR:  https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hr/hr-staff-directory 

Curfew



Question


Answer


In speaking with Police Chief Magnus, do you anticipate a city-wide curfew being adopted?


The City of Tucson will continue to comply with state and local orders as issued. Any changes from our state or local government will be addressed as received.

 

Debriefing, Town Hall Updates



Question


Answer


Will debriefing after pandemic be conducted publicly? There are many lessons learned; it would be good for employees to know what worked and opportunities for improvement


Yes, we intend to do an After Action Review.

Will you continue these virtual live updates after COVID-19 calms down? Maybe bi-weekly or monthly? I really like it. Yes, the City Manager will continue communication with the employees after the stay at home orders end. 

  

Documentation



Question


Answer


How we respond to COVID-19 is important. How shall we document and share ways we are dealing with resiliency?


Documentation is important.  Please work with your department leadership as they will follow consistent direction from the CMO and EOC teams.


HR is providing information very slow which is understandable but


HR is responding to hundreds of questions and in some cases answers are not available.  Decisions are being made constantly on many issues.  New developments and scenarios come up daily that are not anticipated.  HR is also creating a team to sort through the hundreds of questions and remove duplicates and coordinate responses.  This is a perfect redeployment opportunity for employees that are seeking more telecommuting hours.  Thank you for your patience.

 

Donated Leave



Question


Answer


If employees exhaust all leave possible before end of April, can they get donated leave?


At this time we have not determined that donated leave can be used.


A similar question has been posed but I am not sure it is the same as this.  Can we donate our 80 Hour Relief time to those who may need it?  How about the extra Fed time?


The City of Tucson has not made a determination on whether or not paid pandemic leave can be donated. The Department of Labor has not published a determination on whether or not the FFCRA leave can be donated.


Can anyone donate time to people who may need it?


(from previous town hall Q&A) The City of Tucson has not made a determination on whether or not paid pandemic leave can be donated. The Department of Labor has not published a determination on whether or not the FFCRA leave can be donated.

Donations, Volunteering



Question


Answer


Can I donate my check to the City?


The City has a donate button at the top right of tucsonaz.gov


If we would like to help out with a non-profit, where can we go to get information on this or volunteer or time?


You can reach out to your favorite nonprofit to see how to best assist them at this time or the health department has volunteer information at www.pima.gov/covid19

 

Equipment, Supplies, Software



Question


Answer


Can we take city property home to perform our job?


Supervisor approval is required to take city property home for telecommuting purposes. Employees who have city laptops, keyboards, mouse, etc. are able to take those items home to use.  Taking pens, staplers, and other small items is also permissible. All items do need to be returned. Employees are not permitted to transport large furniture, desks, or electronics intended for group or department use.


Is it possible for office equipment such as scanners to be taken home from the office to use to make it possible to work at home? Some employees job duties require scanners, phones, etc.  and they are not able to work remotely due to this.


Keep your supervisor informed of equipment needed.  These may be acquired as a priority depending on areas needed.


Can we setup a City Location for City workers to get office supplies from if they need it instead of having them go to a local store?


Good idea, we will give this some thought.


If we don't have the equipment (laptop/internet) at home can my supervisor send me home on leave?


There are health and safety reasons that may require a supervisor to send an employee home, regardless of whether or not the employee can work from home


Hi. We have heard that some laptops were handed out last week. Do we still have more available for working at home?  Thanks! 


Yes, please have your department contact IT.

 


Last week you mentioned headsets available at the help desk. do you have more information since they don't?


Yes, headsets are still available. Please contact IT directly


Are Council offices using MS Teams?


Yes, the entire organization has migrated to Outlook and Teams.

 

Essential vs. Nonessential



Question


Answer


If someone is working from home, can they be reclassified as non-essential?


Yes, they may be, this is a Department Director decision based on how things change.


In the memo on Wednesday there was a mention of Directors determining Essential vs. Non-essential employees.  Is this about who's expected to come in to the office, or just expected to continuing working regardless


This is to determine the continuation of business operations as of right now.


Will positions be changing from Essential to Non Essential? If so how can I let City of Tucson know that if my position is changed to Non-Essential, I have skills that can help other depts and I available.


All employees are important to the City, however your Department Director will be communicating through your supervisors as to those that need to continue to the operation of the City. City Employees who have skills beneficial to other departments and/or who have availability through a non-essential position or lack of work in their department may apply to assist other departments via the COT JobAps website, in the City-Wide Employees only section for recruitments

https://www.jobapscloud.com/Tucson/sup/bulpreview.asp?R1=2003&R2=0231&R3=002


Who makes the decision on "Essentials"? City Manager? Dept. Director?


Based on the memo issued by City Manager, Department Directors will be making determinations to ensure the City essential services continue.


Do we need an essential card just in case we get pull over after five?


No, not at this time.


Is my director allowed to change essential status to avoid staff to qualify for the families first act in an effort to keep employees in the office working vs what is best for staff's health families and helping stop the spread of COVID-19?


 FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is available for all employees based on the qualifying reasons listed, and the expanded FML is available for employees that have been employed for at least 30 days. The guidance from the Department of Labor lists exclusions for Health Care Providers and Emergency Responders


Would Code Enforcement be an "essential" since they are assisting in keeping the community clean with regards to sanitation and trash?


That will be determined by Department Director.


Is Code Enforcement essential?  The City keeping up with property owner's making sure they are cleaning up their areas, slowing the spread, most people feel is essential....


All positions are considered important and essential, however, we will have specific positions that will be considered "Emergency Responders", that may not be eligible for Telecommuting because of the nature of the work.


I'm being asked to train someone to take over a high essential duty does that mean they will now them be deemed essential over me as it is being taken away


Essential personnel will be identified by Department Directors, and needs of the department may be spread among multiple staff. Without knowing specifics in your department, it is likely that cross training will help to ensure that business operations continue in the event that work schedules are revised so that less staff are in the office together at the same time.


Do you have a scale or graph showing or comparing low priority jobs as to high priority jobs?

 


Not at this time.


Stormwater Management maintenance is part of our ADEQ requirements, and DEQ has not lessened these requirements.  We need to be considering safety and water quality so stormwater maintenance is important.


Thank you for your suggestion.

 

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Pandemic Leave



Question


Answer


City court employees are being furloughed and hours being reduced. They are also being forced to use their own leave to make up for lost hours. Why is in place for them?+B24:C64


If employees do not have the option to do meaningful work while Telecommuting, they may use the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave to supplement the hours needed to complete the week.


Can leave already taken be changed to the FFCRA/Pandemic Leave?


Yes, as it relates to COVID and with any negative leave used.


Can the 80 hours be used sporadically? And not all at one time?


Yes, the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave can be used in 10 minute increments.  The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave to care for Other and the Extended Medical Leave can be used in full day increments only.


If the pandemic is considered “over” and we have only used part of the city given FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is it done?


The Paid FFCRA/Pandemic Leave provided by the City of Tucson is available for employees who have a need for leave, based on the guidelines and qualified reasons outlined.


If I don’t use it do I lose it?


Unknown at this time, however it is there for you to use a prescribed by the Pandemic Paid Leave guidelines.  The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is set to expire 12/31/2020.


What are the stipulations under each act as far as what qualifies?


Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave is leave available to those that do not have Telecommuting options or work available. FFCRA/Pandemic Leave has specific criteria outlined on the Dept. of Labor poster announcement

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf


Is the “city FFCRA/Pandemic Leave” the borrowed hours from the city?


Originally it was the Negative Sick Leave, it is now the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave that allows for 80 hours that do not have to be paid and negative 24 hours that will need to be paid back with future accruals.


If we don’t/can’t use the extra hrs. of leave (80+80+24), it would be nice to either get paid out or granted the leave hrs. for later use (maybe before a certain deadline). 


Since this leave is provided based on need and not an accrued leave, it is available for employees as a need arises, and will not be paid out or granted to employees who did not have a need to use it.


80 city hours and 80 federal hours - do either or both need to be "paid back" at a later date? Thank you!


Not the 80 Pandemic Emergency Paid Leave, however, it does have a -24 component that if you use you do have to pay those back with future accruals.  No pay back with FFCRA/Pandemic Leave.


Do employees accrue leave when they use the 80 hr. pandemic paid emergency leave?


Yes, accruals will continue.


How do you we go about requesting to use the 80 hours of pandemic leave before we use our own earn leave.


 FFCRA/Pandemic Leave will need to be approved by supervisor. Once approved, proper coding will be used in Kronos.


If I am the primary care provider for my elderly parent, do I qualify for the city and federal pandemic assistance?


Yes under the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave for 80 hours and under FFCRA/Pandemic Leave you may qualify for 2/3 regular pay based on qualifying reason #1 or #2.


Where can we find more into the details of each leave bank. Have not seen any information from the fire department.


You may visit the COT Employee Resource site for COVID-19 info
https://www.tucsonaz.gov/covid-19/city-employee-information-covid-19


I have no other qualifier to use the city/fed leave except I decided to self-quarantine because of a lower immune system. Am I eligible to use these leaves?


 FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is available to all employees.  Work with your leadership for the best option for you.


Can city FFCRA/Pandemic Leave be used plus the federal COVID-19 leave for a total of 160 hours?


Yes, under the qualifying reasons as it pertains to both leaves.


People seem to not be hearing that 80hrs of city FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is available to them prior to using their own leave. Does this require supervisor approval, if they are deemed essential, can they still use it?


Yes, this needs to be approved by Supervisor/Director.


Will Superiors held accountable for employees who use City/Federal FFCRA/Pandemic Leave so it is not being abused, example employee just not wanting to go to work?


We expect employees to use the leaves as they are afforded, Supervisors may monitor for abuse.


If I am a new employee do I qualify for the FFRCA?


Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19.


Are City employees required to exhaust all vacation & or sick leave first before they quality for other leaves example Federal.


No.  The Pandemic 80 hours leave and FFCRA/Pandemic Leave are available to use without having to exhaust your own leave.


 What is the time frame for this leave? is it through the end of the year or within a few months?


Both leaves are set to expire by 12/31/2020 as of now. The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave Extended Medical Leave allows for 12 weeks of FMLA based on qualifying reasons. (This is not an additional 12 weeks of FML, it is only an extension to the leave act)


What are the stipulations under each act as far as who qualifies? is childcare related due to loss of babysitter covered? schools being closed and now having to take more days off, is that covered?


Yes, as it applies for FFCRA/Pandemic Leave.  It allows up to 12 weeks of expanded FMLA for care of child due to closure at 2/3 pay.


https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf


Does a single person qualify for the second 80 hours? Thank you!


Each leave is for eligible employees regardless of marital status, based on the need for leave and for FFCRA/Pandemic Leave, determined by the qualifying reasons outlined on the Dept. Of Labor website. For the Expanded FML, an employee may be eligible for Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.


https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave-employer-paid-leave


Because the 104 hours was the original amount - what if employee's have already gone past the 24 negative leave amounts for this most recent last pay period?


A historical correction will be made and will be replaced with FFCRA/Pandemic Leave (up to 80 hours).


Most employees with Children are now homeschooling... would using the Federal leave put less of a burden on our budget? And is the City's suggestion that we use that.


The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is available to all employees that are eligible and meet the qualifying reasons.  We suggest you use any resource as it is designated for.


If we go back to work as usual after April 30 what is the plan for all the parents who have children still doing at home schooling until the middle of the month?


 FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is available until the end of the year, and provides up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.


Does the emergency 80 hrs. kick in before we use our personal time?


Yes, employees are entitled to use the 80 hours of Paid FFCRA/Pandemic Leave for COVID-19 related qualifying reasons, before using their accrued personal time. Personal accrued time must be used before the 24 hours of Negative Sick Leave can be used.


Good morning, my question is regarding the pandemic pay.  Can we use this before using our own accumulated time? And can we use pandemic pay for days off due to being furloughed?


Yes, employees are entitled to use the 80 hours of Paid FFCRA/Pandemic Leave for COVID-19 related qualifying reasons, before using their accrued personal time. Employees may also use the Paid Pandemic leave to supplement the work week, for hours reduced if telecommuting is not available or lack of work available.


What are the stipulations under each act as far as who qualifies?


 FFCRA/Pandemic Leave is City leave and is more flexible.  The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave has specific qualifying reasons listed on the Employee poster-reasons 1-6, on attached link.


https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf


What is the order in which the various types of leave will be used, i.e. personal, City, Federal?


There is no order, as an employee may have different variables that might make them eligible for them.


What types of leave are available to us (Federal vs City)?


Listed in no specific order: Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave- 80 hours of pay, FFCRA/Pandemic Leave-80 hours for specific reasons as well as expanded FMLA for up to 12 weeks with 2/3 pay for reasons 4-6, Employee Accrued time, that can include Sick, Vacation, Floating Holiday, Administrative Leave, Compensatory Time and Negative Leave-this is 24 hours negative sick leave that will be require to be paid through future sick leave accruals.


The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave doesn’t specify who is eligible


Per DOL Website - Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The qualifying reasons for leave are as follows: Under the FFCRA/Pandemic Leave, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave-employee-paid-leave


How do you determine who qualifies for the 80 hours? For example...If you are caring for a family member in quarantine do we need to provide a doctors note?


There is criteria on who qualified for both the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave as well as FFCRA/Pandemic Leave.  Flexibility with Doctor requirements will be afforded.


Where exactly can we find more into the details of each leave bank. Have not seen any information from the fire department.


Please review the info listed in the April 1 Memo from the City Manager's Office

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Memo_re_Leave_Policy.pdf


Can we donate our Fed and Pan leave if we don't use it?


We do not have an option at this time to donate the unused leave.


Can you talk a little bit about the new leave from the federal government as compared to our leave?


City of Tucson Leave: Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave, 80 hours of paid leave. Employee Accrued time, that can include Sick, Vacation, Floating Holiday, Administrative Leave, Compensatory Time, and Negative Leave: 24 hours negative sick leave that will be required to be paid through future sick leave accruals. FFCRA/Pandemic Leave (From Federal Government): 80 hours of paid leave for specific reasons as well as expanded FMLA for up to 12 weeks with 2/3 pay for reasons 4-6.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf


Can an employee stay home under FMLA leave to avoid getting pandemic influenza?


No, FFCRA is very specific with the reasons for the expanded FMLA leave, which qualify Under #5- is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID -19 related reasons. 


Please clarify. Some essential (not 1st responders) and non-essential co-workers are thinking they can use the city 80 hrs. just to "stay home" as requested. If an employee wants to use city 80hrs, they must be approved by supv right and must be caring for someone, child or be sick themselves. correct? Not just because they want to stay home to protect. 


Correct, the 80 Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave, although more flexible still requires Supervisor approval and has certain qualifying criteria to be used.


My husband works as a route driver in ES (garbage/recycle). Are those employees, even though considered essential, eligible to use Pandemic Leave? When they finish routes prior to the end of shift, they use their own leave time so they can practice social distancing and be home. Your thoughts?


A final list of "Emergency Responders" as it pertains to FFCRA is available on the COT COVID-19 Employee Resources webpage: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Memo_from_CM_Emergency_Response_4-17-20AU_4-20list.pdf .  If your husband falls in this category, there will be specific criteria for leave for self care for this group.


Can an essential employee take the leave if caring for someone else, even if they aren't sick? like caring for very old parents, etc. who shouldn't be out/exposed.


Only as it pertains to the qualifying reasons as listed in FFCRA.


Can you correct the link for the pandemic leave poster?


https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Memo_re_Leave_Policy.pdf


Are professional staff with TPD also excluded from the emergency leaves?


All suppression staff at TPD will be excluded from FFCRA as Emergency Responders and will have limited eligibility for pandemic leave.  Emergency Responders will have up to 160 hours of pandemic leave if they become symptomatic, or as approved by their hiring authority under unique circumstances.


Have payroll codes been tested and approved for use pertaining specifically to Emergency Pandemic Leave and FFCRA? If not, when will this info be available and ready to use?


Yes, Payroll codes have been tested and training will be held for department payroll staff to use the Pandemic Leave and FFCRA leave codes appropriately


If there is evidence of people shedding the virus is greater than 14 days (i.e. 30 days), do you foresee the leaves pertaining to pandemic increase?


The City of Tucson reserves the right to adjust the Pandemic leave as needed, based on guidance from the Federal government, and the needs of City of Tucson employees.


Please clarify what situations employees can use the COT Covid 80 hours and the Fed. Covid 80 hours, some folks think that they can use these allocated times/funds for any reason. I look at it as a short-term insurance policy for Covid related reasons only.


Both the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave (COT Covid 80 hours) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Fed Covid 80 hrs.) provide leave for employees based on qualifying events related to COVID-19.


·        

Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave (COT Covid 80 hours) Qualifying Events:

1.  The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; Because the Governor’s March 31, 2020 Order constitutes an isolation order for Non-Essential positions/employees, this qualifying event is in place for those positions/employees.

2.  The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;

3.  The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, upper respiratory distress, shortness of breath) and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

4.  The employee is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantined as described in (2)

5.  The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or

6.  The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of f Health and Human Services

 


·     

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Federal 80 hours of leave)

The guidance on FFCRA leave availability and usage may change over time and is subject to federal updates. Updates will be posted to the City of Tucson’s employee information site, and current guidelines for the FFCRA leave are listed on the Dept. of Labor FFCRA poster: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf

 

Before, police were able to use the 80 hours of city pandemic leave for childcare/homeschool reasons due to closed schools.  I'm now being told that while 160 hours of city pandemic leave are available, none of those hours can be used to care for others.  Are you considering expanding any of the city pandemic leave for police beyond covid symptoms and covid diagnosis of the employee?  

The expansion will be focused on covid symptoms or diagnosis of employee or immediate family members. Pandemic Leave has restrictions for emergency response personnel to ensure essential services can be maintained at safe levels for community response times and overall safety. A revised Sick Leave AD will be issued this week clarifying this question.

Just had to sign a paper saying i was unable to use city pandemic 80 relief for family care. only for myself if sick. what is actually the case 

Emergency Responders were provided a notice of leave restrictions and informed they are provided 160 hours of Pandemic Leave for COVID related symptoms or diagnosis of employee or immediate family member.  Pandemic Leave has restrictions for emergency response personnel to ensure essential services can be maintained at safe levels for community response times and overall safety. A revised Sick Leave AD will be issued this week clarifying this question.

TFD suppression personnel have been told the 160 hours of pandemic leave is hour for hour, and not rated for the 56 hour schedule like sick/vacation leave.  Why is this? 


Pandemic Leave Hours for Fire Suppression Employees with a 56-hour schedule will draw down in the same manner as for sick and vacation time (at a factor of 0.66).

i.e., An employee charging 12:00 FRPLV hours will draw down 7:55 hours from the Pandemic Leave Balance.

Would getting federal leave approved after state re opens require verification?   At this time that has not been determined. However, there are six different qualifying reasons for the federal FFCRA leave related to COVID-19; doctor’s note verification is currently not required so as to avoid unnecessary exposure for COT employees, and to alleviate the demand on healthcare professionals and testing materials.  FFCRA runs until 12/31/2020.              

 

Federal Assistance


Question


Answer


Why is it that I have to use my own leave time, if you are going to be sending us home or putting us on furlough? I am not asking for time off nor am I sick. So, if you are furloughing us should we still be getting paid and not have to use out own leave time??


Employees have the ability to use 80 hours of FFCRA/Pandemic Leave if work is not available.  Employees may also use the FFCRA/Pandemic Leave under the guidelines and qualifying reasons.  Accrued leave may be used if these options are exhausted, as well as Negative 24 hours of Sick Leave.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf


How does a supervisor decide between pandemic and regular leave if the employee is furloughed?


Supervisors will utilize Pandemic when Telecommuting or other work is not available, or to supplement partial hours you may be working now because of a lack of work.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Memo_re_Leave_Policy.pdf


Do you foresee furloughs at all?


This would be one of the last resorts, but no decision has been made.


Does Tucson qualify for the assistance from the Federal Reserve, or are we too small a city?


The city qualifies for federal relief under the CARES act passes by Congress.

 

Is the federal money only approved to use for police/fire payroll? Does it include detective, non sworn police department? Does that free up money for other areas of the city?      The latest federal guidance allows for the City to use CARES Act funding for public safety personnel involved in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Any offsets to public safety costs positively affect the General Fund.

 

Furlough

Question

Answer

Regarding furloughs or cut in pay are we legible for unemployment if that occurs 

Yes, there are additional Unemployment Insurance benefits available through July 31st through provisions allowed under the CARES ACT if employees are furloughed. The Arizona Department of Economic Security determines eligibility of benefits.

If furloughs are implemented do you know how soon those would take effect? Would those be implemented in similar fashion as the U of A, which was basing the number of furlough days on employee salaries? 

The City is aware of the UA furlough plan but has not yet made any decisions in relation to furloughs in our organization.

If furloughs are implemented do you know how soon those would take effect? Would those be implemented in similar fashion as the U of A, which was basing the number of furlough days on employee salaries?  The City is aware of the UA furlough plan but has not yet made any decisions in relation to furloughs in our organization.
Will Police and Fire be immune from furloughs and / or pay cuts?                

Furloughs will be considered based on both needs of the city and the economic impact of continuing operations at full capacity, in each department.

Will furloughs effect the probationary period?  If furloughed 2 weeks, will my probationary period be extended by 2 weeks?           

If the employee is off more than 3 weeks due to furlough, then the probation shall be extended.

High Risk



Question


Answer


What, if any, considerations are being made for employees that are at very high risk due to underlying medical issues? Especially regarding deployment when infections rise? Also, can we limit the number of people in elevators, break rooms, etc..?


Employees can always speak with their supervisors about telecommuting. Other options include reviewing the reasons listed for the 80 hours of paid pandemic leave available to City employees; there are a few qualifying reasons listed that may be applicable to employees with underlying medical issues.


https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Memo_re_Leave_Policy.pdf

Hiring



Question


Answer


Will internal hires/promotions be frozen?


These are being scrutinized closely and will be determined based on needs of City to continue operations.


Regarding the hiring freeze: if we're slated to pass our year probation this month, will we still be able to?


That is the intent as of right now, but things may change and we cannot commit to what that will look like.


Are internal promotions frozen?


Internal promotions are being scrutinized closely and will be determined based on needs of City to continue operations.

My department is hiring a deputy director, with a very high salary package. Why is the COT hiring freeze not applied in my department?                  The COT Hiring Freeze will scrutinize all requests to fill positions, with the exception of commissioned public safety personnel at police and fire, and public safety communications line staff we are freezing all hiring, as mentioned in the March 17 message from the City Manager. 
Based on the needs of the city and the needs of the department, hiring may be approved by the City Manager’s Office. Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis and the overall budget for the respective department must generally stay neutral. 

 

In-Office Protocol



Question


Answer


Do you foresee a possibility of going into work 1 day a week for even a half day to print, collect more work etc. Possibly on a rotating schedule so not many ppl are there at the same time,


You can speak to your supervisor about needing to sporadically go into the office, although we don't encourage it, we understand the need to do so every now and then.


I'm working from home, but need to come into City Hall at least twice a week to return calls, post payments, and a few other tasks that can only be done in the office, is it okay to come in?


Yes, but please make sure you coordinate and keep you Supervisor in the loop.

 

Kidco/Childcare/Summer Camp



Question


Answer


Will Parks and Rec continue forward with Summer Kidco signup day?


This has not been determined to date.


Can the City afford to provide free childcare for everyone, even in a future best-case scenario?


Free childcare is not currently being considered.

 

Can parents expect to not have Parks & Rec Summer Camp available this year? The future programing of Parks and Recreation activities, including summer camps, has not yet been determined
What would it take parks and rec folks to get certified to take kids less than 5? Is that on the table? The City is not currently considering training for this purpose, but this may be a consideration in the future if the need presents itself.

 

Kronos



Question


Answer


Will the emergency leave be added as a leave option in Kronos? For the FFCRA/Pandemic Leave 80 hours


Yes


Is there any way we can do away with Kronos time keeping and use WAM for our field workers?  It is adding extra work to our already additional work that has been added.


Unfortunately, no, Kronos is the method we track hours for purposes of compliance. We will continue to seek efficiencies wherever possible.


Where can we check our leave balances if not connected to city intranet?


Leave balances can be viewed when an employee logs into Kronos, as well as checking COT Pay Stubs which can be found on ESS. 

https://azcot-ess.hostams.com/PRDESS2X1/ESS


Can someone post the link to Kronos?


https://kronos.tucsonaz.gov/wfc/navigator/logon


For auditing and tracking the Pandemic leaves, is there any specific information we will need to show and keep track of?

There are two methods to track.  One is to seek federal reimbursement, this is tracked through a timesheet, to be completed daily for COVID-19 related tasks: Form is no longer in use.

The other will be through Kronos, this is to track leaves related to COVID-19.


It was mentioned previously that Timekeeper/Kronos is accessible, and the link was provided. My available devices won't/can't run it for lack of a flash player when working from home. Is this something that is being/has been discussed, if previously mentioned and I missed it, my apologies. Also, thank you! I know everyone doing their best in what is a very challenging time. Thank you all!!


Please contact the IT help desk regarding this issue.

 

 

Layoffs



Question


Answer


Can you speak to the contracted employees let go?


Hiring Authorities are making decisions based on their own needs, i.e., available work, funding constraints and business needs.


In the possible event of layoffs, how much notice do you foresee employees receiving before being laid off? 


Layoffs are not being considered at this time. If layoffs are considered, the City of Tucson would meet legal compliance with notices that may be required.


Will layoffs start at the top and work their way down? If not, will the highest paid positions be taking a pay cut to keep lower level staff employed?


The City is not currently considering layoffs or pay cuts as part of expense reductions.

 

If someone is doing a temp assignment somewhere and, in that area, they are lowest on the totem pole, however in their "permanent position" they have higher seniority and still belong to that org #........how would this affect if layoffs do occur?  Wouldn't I be looked at in my previous position and not my temp assignment position?  Layoffs are not being considered at this time; however, the layoff AD serves as the guidelines for bumping rights, seniority and probation.  A temporary assignment does not hold probationary rights.

If there is a budget cut, what happens to the new hires? Will they be the first to go?

While the City will certainly need to make budget cuts moving forward, the nature of those cut has not yet been determined. Budget impacts in relation to staff have not yet been determined.
If layoffs are determined will they be based on seniority or years of service?  While the City will certainly need to make budget cuts moving forward, the nature of those cut has not yet been determined. Budget impacts in relation to staff have not yet been determined.
In the event of a layoff does the city provide a severance pay? The City is not planning layoffs at this time.

Leave - Abuse, Approval, Mandatory, Sick Leave



Question


Answer

How can we ensure that vital employees are going to work, and not abusing the 160 hours?

We trust employees will not take advantage of what is being afforded to them, but Supervisors will have oversight.


Can I be denied leave If I qualify?


There are qualifications for all leave types.  Pre-approval is necessary based on qualifications.


What would be a reason to deny someone leave?


The Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave may be denied if it is not used for the reasons listed in the City Manager's memo, potential abuse and/or determination from the Appointing Authorities.

 

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Memo_re_Leave_Policy.pdf

With the likelihood of a hiring freeze continuing into the next FY, some areas will find it difficult to allow vacation leave, with the 288-hour maximum vacation leave for some positions being exceeded and the 56-hour alternative leave account cap quickly being reached. Can that alternative leave cap be extended, with the benefit of allowing staff to be able to transfer leave for their colleagues who may need it? 

At this time, an extension to the alternative leave cap has not been considered. Thank you for this feedback; moving forward these considerations will be reviewed.

Would it be possible to allow employees choose to accrue extra leave in lieu of some of their pay?  (would require higher caps on leave balances) 

The City Manager’s Office is considering many options.

 

"Many of us are not able to telecommute for unknown reasons, & are trying to use the FFCRA leave but, are having a hard time. H.R. is asking we go in on a daily basis for 2.40 hours or use our own time. Instead of twice a week to complete our 12 hours a week (1/3 of our shift). How is this conducive to productivity of our job, and to help spread the COVID-19? 

Without knowing the circumstances surrounding this request from HR, or the department this pertains to, it is difficult to provide a response. Please submit an email to HRCOVID19FAQ@tucsonaz.gov so that we can look into this situation.  
You mentioned the sick leave incentive rumor wasn’t true but then you just answered wellness incentive question stating it's gone, and that paying out sl is gone. To be more specific, upon retirement/leaving, will accrued SL be paid out still and will it be counted towards years of service still.    

As mentioned in the March 17 message from the City Manager, the $250 Wellness Attendance Incentive has ended at this time.

The sick leave payout retirement incentive has not changed, and the specific policy for sick leave at separation is referenced in the Sick Leave Administrative Directive.  Your sick leave payout may be based on your retirement tier you fall under.

 What is the process for reporting  suspected fraud for the FFCRA leave or other City related leaves? Please send an email to HRCOVID19FAQ@tucsonaz.gov with the suspected information.

There are many employees who refuse to take sick leave (they hoard it for some reason) and come in anyway.  Very frustrating for the rest of us who work around them. 

Supervisors reserve the right to send an employee home based on illness or symptoms related to illness. Additional guidelines are available on the Mandatory Leave and Returns document, on the COT Employee resources website.

 

Leave Without Pay



Question


Answer


If I don’t have hours, and I would like to take leave, would I then be under leave without pay?


Do you have telecommuting or meaningful work available? If not, then the Department Director can direct you to use Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave.


Once the City Pandemic leave has been used, can an employee go on LWOP without using all their own leave so that they can get unemployment benefits.  New regulations allow persons to claim unemployment compensation due to loss of hours worked


If Telecommuting is not an option and no work is available then this can be approved by the Department Director, however, there can be implications to your retirement, benefits.  We suggest you contact them for further information.

What about voluntary LWOPs - people could volunteer to take blocks of unpaid leave to lower expenses.  Thank you for your suggestion, all options are being considered.
If we take LWOP will there be discipline                    Leave without Pay (LWOP) requires Director approval.  Failure to return from an approved LWOP may be coded as Absent without Leave (AWOL, which can lead to formal discipline. For issues related to COVID-19, there are many leave options, as well as redeployment opportunities. Additionally, LWOP requires that all other accrued paid leave is exhausted.

 

Lifecare



Question


Answer


Is the Lifecare/backup care benefit still available?


Yes, additional information is available on the COT Employee Resources webpage.

 

New Employees



Question


Answer


Do new/probationary employees have to worry about losing their position?


No determinations have been made to date on the impact of this pandemic to our workforce staffing needs beyond the release of contracted employees at this time.


I am a new employee am I eligible for the FFRCA leave?


Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19


Will new hires have their probation hurt due to this?


That is not the intention right now, we can't predict how this will continue to affect all of us in the future.


Do I have to be employed 30 days for the city pandemic leave?


No, you do not have to be employed for 30 days to be eligible for the Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave.

 

Nonpermanent, Probationary Employees



Question


Answer


Which non perms will be eligible for leave?


Certain Non-perms will be eligible for FFCRA/Pandemic Leave/ FFCRA/Pandemic Leave at pro-rated hours.


What about temporary workers? Do they qualify for City pandemic leave?


Temporary workers contracted through an agency are not eligible for Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave.


Does the COT Pandemic leave of 80 hours apply to Non-Perm staff?  40 Hours for part time, non-perm staff?


Eligible non-perm staff will have a pro-rated amount of pandemic leave hours available to them.  Eligibility will be released next week.

If staff cuts happen, would you think Temps and probationary would be the first even if temporary? 

While the City will certainly need to make budget cuts moving forward, the nature of those cut has not yet been determined. Budget impacts in relation to staff have not yet been determined.
Are people who were recently promoted (and are therefore currently on probation) at risk of having to return to their old positions?             Employees on recent promotions do not have rights to that position until they pass the promotional probation, however, if the individual had passed probation in other classifications, they would have rights to those positions within the same department

 

Outside Employment



Question


Answer


I also have a medical background.  If we are needed elsewhere, do we have to fill out paperwork to work a "second" job?


It will depend.  If you do not have telecommuting work available and you are being re-deployed to another COT area by your supervisor, then no.  If you are seeking supplemental compensation or working outside of COT then yes, per AD 2.02-6: Outside Employment

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/ad/2-02-6.pdf


Down the road, instead of having to burn a lot of personal sick leave, will HR make an exception to allow us to go on LWOP and seek outside employment? If not, are we allowed to use personal sick leave while working elsewhere? I know LWOP will affect our retirement.


For employees who do not have the option for telecommuting and for whom there is a reduction in the work available, there are both leave options available, as well as redeployment opportunities for work within the City of Tucson. COT staff are encouraged to either use paid leave available for those who qualify or seek redeployment opportunities in other COT areas. Decisions regarding LWOP and outside employment will follow current administrative directives unless otherwise announced.

 

 

Overtime



Question


Answer


Will there be tighter rules regarding OT?


Yes, OT will be scrutinized closely by Department Directors.

Will we look at rules for accruing Overtime?  Are employees still able to accrue OT even if they didn’t work over 40 hrs/week? For example, using 8 hrs of leave on Monday, and working 36 hrs the rest of the week - can employees accrue 4 hrs OT for that week?  Seems they should be required to reduce the amount of leave to avoid OT.   

Vacation time continues to count for the purposes of overtime, but sick leave does not.

To reduce overtime expenditures, department

Directors may adjust the work hours of non-exempt employees to meet the demands of the department.

I have heard that management personnel have been working a lot of extra hours. Wouldn't it make sense to delegate the "extra work" tasks to employees that do not have enough work instead of letting managers do the work that employee could do?              Thank you for your suggestion. The City is making every effort to keep our employees gainfully employed and will consider all options.

 

Personal Leave



Question


Answer


Not sure if this was covered, but if we are missing work due to a child’s school being closed. Is that time going to be taken from our personal leave time? Even though we are considered an essential employee?


You may qualify under FFCRA/Pandemic Leave that allows for FMLA expanded leave to care for child at 2/3 of your pay.  You may supplement the remainder of time with your leave.


The City already has a very generous leave policy. Why don't people want to use their own leave if they need it? 


The City is making every effort to provide additional benefits in addition to employee's having and using leave as we don't know how long this will continue.

The increased need of employees in essential work positions requires that they postpone vacation plans. In your last update, you advised that the 288 hour earned vacation leave limit could not be increased due to liability issues. Would it be possible to increase the 56 hour alternative leave limit for employees to be able to share leave with co-workers who may exhaust their accounts?          Thank you for your suggestion, these options will be taken into consideration.

 

Phones



Question


Answer


It would really help if we were able to forward phones to the house or cell.  This would help with providing good customer service we have been told it cannot be done.


We are exploring all options available to ensure good customer service and providing employees the tools they need to do their jobs. Please check with your department about the possibility of the Avaya Equinox option available on city laptops through IT.

 

Preparedness



Question


Answer


Are we doing any planning relative to possible 2nd, 3rd waves of Covid19, such as in August, similar to the experiences in 1918 timeframe with the Spanish flu? Or as China is seeing, once people decrease social isolation, and then might experience recurrence of Covid19?


The City is working with local and state health departments to ensure public health and safety.

CDC is predicting a 2nd wave next year.  Will the City prepare if this does happen?  Yes, the City is aware of the possibility of other waves of COVID and will prepare appropriately.

Re-opening



Question


Answer


Is the City planning to form a team to help plan how we will transition out of virtual city as the number of COVID-19 cases start to decline? 


The Planning Section of the Emergency Operations Center is currently operational and other teams may need to be created to transition out of virtual operations.

 

Can you speak a little more about the conversations the COT is having with the Governor's office? Statewide distribution of testing kits, when the Governor anticipates opening, are we working in conjunction with other states surrounding us to design a reopening plan, what are the biggest challenges our State is facing?

The City is following the Pima County Health Department’s criteria for beginning of phased reduction of COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. You can find more details on the criteria at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/Pima_Co_Criteria_-_Ph1.pdf

As Governors on both coasts begin to form coalitions to discuss reopening, I did not hear Arizona mentioned in those conversations. Can you provide an update on the plans our Governor is working on? This information will be provided as it becomes available from the state.
Sir, I understand the gloomy perspective and the concern for the pandemic.  Why are we looking at the "stay-at-home" order beyond May 1? (still 9 days away and we are running on yesterday’s stats, stay at home for most vulnerable) Could there be a better projection of opening some business slower and re-starting our community.  We are all aware of "social distancing" and why.  Are we cutting off our nose to spite our face?  The City is following the Pima County Health Department’s criteria for beginning of phased reduction of COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. You can find more details on the criteria at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/Pima_Co_Criteria_-_Ph1.pdf
When we go back to working in office and not remotely.  Will we all go back at once or will we maybe rotate office days and remotely to keep contact down in the office?  When city staff return to work and what that return looks like have not yet been determined.

Do you know what kind of staged opening Tucson will have to get back to a new normal?

The City is following the Pima County Health Department’s criteria for beginning of phased reduction of COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. You can find more details on the criteria at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/Pima_Co_Criteria_-_Ph1.pdf Department directors in conjunction with staff from the Emergency Operations Center are currently working to determine what that phased reduction will look like for our facilities and services
Prior to reopening is a clear testing protocol for city employees going to be made?  A team is currently working on requirements for reopening. Considering the current testing availability in our community. Testing for all city employees seems unlikely at this point, but that situation could change in the future   
If buildings are closed to the public but employees are still coming in, could we select 1 day (or more) per week when employees do NOT come in.  This should help reduce spending on utilities and cleaning.  Perhaps departments will move towards a shortened work week after we “reopen”.   Thank you for your suggestion. A team is currently working on plans to reopen
Has our parks and rec department considered offering virtual recreational classes/services? Yes! Please follow Tucson Parks and Recreation on Facebook! Classes are posted throughout the week. https://www.facebook.com/TucsonParksandRecreation/
CM Steve K made a comment yesterday that Recreation should not have programming the rest of this FY.  Is that an option being considered?   Staff has created a phased reopening plan for the Council to consider at their May 19 meeting. 

 

Redeploying Employees




Question


Answer


How many opportunities exist for re-deployment?  Are these all filled?


There are many redeployment opportunities available, and details are listed on the City of Tucson jobs website, where redeployment letters of interest are accepted


Do you have to be out of typical office work before you can sign up for additional re-deployment opportunities?


It depends on your Hiring Authority. Typically, an essential employee would not be eligible for redeployment but there may be other considerations given depending on the situation.


If we have worked in other departments and if those depts. have personnel need who would we inform that we are available to help?


Submit your Letter of Interest for redeployment on the City of Tucson jobs website. Contact HR Manager to and notify them that you are available to assist if needed.

https://jobapscloud.com/tucson/


There is a possibility my unit may be deemed unessential for the purposes of the pandemic, although our department is currently deemed essential.  I have a medical background and maintain those credentials.  I am willing to be deployed or volunteer in that capacity if needed.  Could I still be paid by the City? 


City Employees who have skills beneficial to other departments and who have availability through a non-essential position, or no telecommuting work available hours may apply to assist other departments via the COT JobAps website, in the City-Wide Employees only section for recruitments

https://www.jobapscloud.com/Tucson/sup/bulpreview.asp?R1=2003&R2=0231&R3=002


Can you touch on Re-Deployment Opportunities? Can part time employees apply for the Re-Deployment opportunities?


Yes, part time employees may apply for redeployment. Employees may apply on the City of Tucson Jobs website, under Employee Only opportunities

https://jobapscloud.com/tucson/


Will you pulling more staff to answer incoming community calls?


If the demand continues that requires us to provide responses, then yes, we will continue to add to staff.


This is just an idea. Since our Zanjeros are no longer doing in-home audits are they able to still do audits but outside only in order to keep them busy so they don't run out of work? Or even do HBI's. Customer service is still getting a lot of calls regarding high bills and customers are in deep need of assistance from our guys


Thank you for your suggestion

For those of us that have accepted re-deployment positions, what expectations are made for keeping up with our original departments programs?  Will our original jobs be protected, or can the department try to assign this work to other department employees?

Re-deployment opportunities are intended for employees who may not have the opportunity to telecommute a full 40 hours per week, and for employees without work in their current department. Employees are expected to return to their original job and department at the end of the re-deployment opportunity.  It is possible for that expectation to change and if so, more guidance will be provided.
For those of us who are in areas that are fully staffed or almost fully staffed, can we volunteer to move to other area without having to start a new probation? Re-deployment opportunities are intended for employees who may not have the opportunity to telecommute a full 40 hours per week, and for employees without work in their current department. Employees are expected to return to their original job and department at the end of the re-deployment oppotunity, without starting a new probation, as these are not permanent position changes.
Has there been any thought or discussion into building a formal, ongoing program where employees would volunteer to develop "optional skill sets"; skill sets that would come into use when outstanding emergency situations such as COVID-19 arise (thus easing the concerns regarding redeployment)? Thank you for your suggestion. Training opportunities are always available for COT employees, as offered by the Employee Engagement and Workforce Development team. Current training opportunities, including some to help expand a variety of “optional skills sets” are listed their internet and intranet sites: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hr/employee-engagement-workforce-development.  In an emergency setting, this is a good idea and all suggestions will be considered.  Thank you. 
We use a janitorial service at our office. we should look into using city employees to help prevent layoffs/furloughs and save a substantial amount of money if done city wide? Thank you for your suggestion; all options are being considered. At this time it has been determined that the level of cleaning and disinfecting required for a smooth return to work transition and to maintain cleanliness once services are on site, is best left to trained professionals. We will continue to monitor this moving forward.

Redeploying Resources



Question


Answer


Currently, we are experiencing long wait times for essential supplies from COT stores. Perhaps they need additional help to fill orders?


Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  We should be re-deploying resources to these areas.

Reporting to Work



Question


Answer


With Parks amenities being closed down, are groundskeepers still reporting to work?


For the most part they have all been working, cleaning areas and also being re-deployed.

What is the plan if we go back to work and this virus starts infecting people again?  Working in conjunction with the Pima County Health Department, we will take the necessary actions to mitigate the spread of the virus immediately.

If we had a co-worker that has been exposed to COVID and we worked with him, shouldn't we also be sent home due to possibly being exposed by him?         

Please review the exposure vs. encounter definitions on the COT Employee Resources website for more guidance, and consult with your HR Manager for next steps as needed  .  Supervisors should also refer to the Mandatory Leave and Return protocols posted on the COT Employee Resources page for COVID-19
 
Rumor of F&M employee wanting to work nights due of contact concerns, but F&M (not all) aren't wearing masks when in the building. I highly doubt this would be something that would be approved due to shift differential. Care to shed any light on this?  Without knowing the circumstances surrounding this situation, it is difficult to provide a response. Please submit an email to HRCOVID19FAQ@tucsonaz.gov so that we can provide more information.
Employers are supposed to be more flexible during this time, as well as the employees. Going into the office is a must for my position. Not being able to telecommute IS the employee being more flexible. Can the COT please, meet their employee's halfway?"                  Departments have been instructed to be flexible and create ways to distribute work and limit employees being in the office as needed, based on the needs of the city and business operations. However, Department needs vary and Director’s will be making the decisions for their respective departments working with the City Manager’s Office.  COT has created many business operations adjustments to continue workflow and operations for all staff, including the flexibility to work from home, providing technology, training on new software, and taking suggestions as needed. Without knowing the circumstances surrounding this situation, it is difficult to provide a response, and other options may be available. Please submit an email to HRCOVID19FAQ@tucsonaz.gov so that we can provide more information and suggestions.

Retirement, Pension




Question


Answer


Going into the new fiscal year, will our payroll pension contribution rate increase?


The City Manager is recommending that Tucson Supplemental Retirement System rates not increase for Fiscal Year 2020/21.  

Will the city authorize ICMA to allow employees affected by COVID emergency withdrawals under CARES act? ICMA states they must be authorized by plan administrator.  

The City has submitted the appropriate documentation with ICMA-RC to allow the provisions outlined in the CARES act as they relate to your deferred compensation account.  It is important to note that the CARES Act provides relief for a “qualified” participant:

1) who is diagnosed with COVID-19; or

2) whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19; or

3) who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, or laid off; having work hours reduced; being unable to work due to lack of child care due to COVID-19; or closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to COVID-19.

Employees will be able to acknowledge that they meet one of the above qualifying criteria by completing a self-certification form provided by ICMA-RC.

Is the merge from ICMA to the new company going to be delayed? No. Some employees have expressed concern about transitioning from ICMA to Empower for the management of deferred compensation plans. The transition will proceed as planned because the overall value of the market does not have a direct impact on the transition from IMCA to Empower. For more information visit www.retiretucsonaz.com   
Can you change the rules so that an employee can purchase more than 5 years of service credit? No, the rules cannot be changed, because this rule is set by the IRS.  The IRS states that an employee can purchase up to 5 years of credit, but no more.  If you have some prior government service and you wish to purchase that time as a service credit that is not subject to the 5-year limit.
If you're laid off, does that interrupt your pension calculation under TSRS - so that if you're rehired, you now have to work 5 more years for your salary from that period to count toward your benefit calculation?

It depends on whether you have been employed by the City for 5 years in a non-commissioned (i.e. public safety) role. 

If you have been employed by the City for 5 years or more and are laid off and then re-hired, you can pick up where you left off.  This means you continue to build on the time you have put into the system and your benefit will be based on wages earned during the time worked.  In other words, the time away from work does not count towards your retirement but it does not count against your retirement either.

If have been employed by the City for less than 5 years. You must take your money out of the retirement plan.  Your money can be rolled over to an IRA or it can be refunded directly to you.  (Refunds may have significant tax consequences.) When you are re-hired you will be starting over.

If this circumstance were to occur sometime in the future, the specific details of your employment can have an impact on these two options; the Retirement Office would be able to offer specific information at that time.

Will the retirement funds be affected?  *NOTE: The response provided is based on TSRS only. Please contact PSPRS for information on Public Safety Personnel Retirement System: www.psprs.com

The City’s non-commissioned pension system, the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System, will be impacted by the stock market volatility that has persisted since the onset of COVID-19.  However, this will not impact the ability to retire presuming all other eligibility requirements have been met.

With respect to ICMA-RC retirement accounts/funds, these funds will be impacted, and the severity of the impact is based on the individual investment allocations selected by each participant.

Would the city look at an option of paying into the pension system to for employees close to retirement?  The City is not currently considering any retirement incentives
Would maybe a 50/50 medical retirement incentive benefit both sides? Thank you for your suggestion. Retirement incentives are not being considered at this time.
Have any other unions proposed retirement cost savings plans similar to the one addressed earlier with the TPOA drop program?   The City is not considering any retirement incentives at this time. 

Retroactive Leave


Question


Answer


Will these hours be retroactive for people who have called out already due to childcare reasons?
What is the time frame for this leave? Is it through the end of the year or within a few months?


The Pandemic 80 hours can be reversed to replace any negative leave that may have been used.  The Pandemic Paid Emergency Leave is a City leave and may run until 12/31/2020.  The FFCRA/Pandemic Leave runs until 12/31/2020 and is effective 4/1 (not retroactive).

Safety, Sanitizing Protocol, Personal Protective Equipment


Question


Answer


Thank you so much for coordinating this effort - it is so appreciated. I am curious if the executive leadership team is taking into consideration new reports that the CDC is expected to reverse its stance on masks because they're learning that the virus is, in fact, airborne. They are expected to encourage people to wear masks whether or not they are symptomatic when they are in public, like other countries have begun doing. Will there be sanitizing protocol in place for those of us that are required to report to City Hall or masks provided for those of us that have to work in proximity with others? (Understanding these are in short supply - just curious)


We encourage employees to protect themselves using all the guidelines provided by the Pima County Health Department & CDC, understanding that PPE is in demand and in short supply throughout the US.


PPE/disinfecting wipes/hand sanitizer are being put under lock and key.  How can the City assure there is enough to go around while I still have to report to work?


The City is triaging all supplies to ensure those that need it have the proper PPE, cleaning supplies.


TEP has a policy that field personnel must wear masks, do we have something similar coming?


We don't have a policy, we are following Pima County Health Department & CDC guidelines, also considering the supplies we have at hand.


Are the first responders getting the supplies they need?


As best as possible, the City is making every effort to continue to procure PPE gear.


Work in my area has been cancelled/postponed, significantly decreasing the amount of work - should the number of staff be reduced as well? Having the full number of staff show up without work is unnecessary and could increase exposure to COVID-19.


Without knowing the details or area you work, reduction of staff at each work location is recommended, with as much telecommuting as possible.


How is City mail being handled in departments where admin is at home?


City Mail is on a 24-hour quarantine.  It will be checked in as each Department Director deems necessary.


In the event that city owned facilities are utilized to treat infected citizens what types of training and health safety measures will be deployed to protect our tradesman who service these buildings?


Appropriate protocols will be set up, should this be a consideration in the future.


Should admin be reporting to work every day to check the mail?


Mail is being held on a 24-hour quarantine, check with your supervisors for additional guidance.


Our director advised us to stay 6ft apart or we may be sent home. Yet we are using same door, same bathrooms, same microwave, exchanging paperwork all day etc. Doesn't this contradict itself?


Any way that we can minimize contact needs to be utilized and ensuring we follow the Pima County Health Department & CDC guidelines.


How is social distancing being enforced as well as sanitation for the public transit system?


Riders are asked to come in through the rear entrance, and drivers are cordoned off by rope with 6 feet distance from riders.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/transit/sun-tran-and-sun-link-covid-19-city-services


How many days do we need to be away from work if a family member tests +

A Decision tree for departments to follow regarding employee exposure to COVID-19 can be found on the COT COVID-19 Employee Resources website:

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Employee_Exposure_to_COVID19_Reporting_Decision_Tree_rev_472020.pdf


If a COT employee leaves Pima County are they required not to report to the office for 14 days after returning?

We have established mandatory employee leave and return protocols on the employee resources website to help guide the decision-making.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hr/Mandatory_LR_Apr7_combined.pdf


I know that we are setting policies and protocols for our staff but how are we approaching our consultants and contractors, especially when our staff is working with these outside entities.


Same protocols as Pima County Health Department, CDC.
Proper Hygiene, social distancing, PPE if required.


For those of us that need to report to work, there should be a common sanitizer at the inside of the door. Everyone has to enter and exit and touch the surfaces. This should be in place for all COT building entrances that are not "automatic doors".


We recommend all employees use proper hygiene protocols as established by Pima County Health Department and CDC.  The City is providing as much as our supplies allows for.


If someone that is essential is infected with COVID, how will the City go about disinfecting the building etc to make sure the rest of the essential workers are able to return to work?


Upon notification that an employee in the workplace has tested positive for COVID-19, the department may contact the Facilities Department to request that the employee's workspace be disinfected.


2-part question: Part 1, With various states making the decision to make masks a requirement, have you heard if Gov. Doug Ducey is going to make the same decision for Arizona?

Part 2, I've noticed many public safety employees on the streets not wearing masks. Given these employees come in contact with so many do you know if Chief Magnus & Chief Ryan will mandate the wearing of masks for the employee’s safety?


We are not aware of any mask requirements coming out of the governor’s office. The decision to require face masks is being made department by department.

 

With emphasis on safety how do you protect field employees that still have contact with the general public while working in neighborhoods and why hazard pay hasn't been addressed yet 

The decision to require face masks is being made by departments. COVID Premium pay is under consideration. 

Emergency personnel need to be prioritized - if they are unable to work, the City could be greatly impacted.  Are all hazards being identified and prioritized?    The City’s Emergency Operations Center along with individual departments are taking precautions to ensure that emergency personnel can continue to do their jobs safely and effectively.

Heard about two City employees tested positive, what measures are being taken if any of other city employees testing positive, not sure if these two that had tested positive have spread it to other City employees, as we still work on the field with each other?   

The City has established a location to house employees who need to be isolated due to COVID-19 exposure or infection. Learn about more at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/pdfs/Isolation_Request_Procedure.pdf
I saw a story on the news about a gentleman who is tired of large gatherings in parks.  When asked if he has called the police, he said, "No.  I prefer to go through the mayor's office."  Do the police have the authority to break up gatherings of more than 10 people?  City staff from Parks and Recreation and TPD have been actively working in city parks to discourage the gathering of groups.
I work with several people who are calling the stay at home order and and the COVID-19 pandemic "nonsense" (that's my work-safe word, not theirs).  Is there anything you can say to talk some sense into these people?  I don't want to be within 10 miles of them, since I doubt they are taking proper precautions The City Manager and each of the department directors are expecting all employees to act in accordance with CDC recommendations regarding safe hygiene and social distancing practices during the pandemic.
What is the current city protocol when an employee reports that either him/her or a family member has tested positive for the corona virus?                               Mandatory Leave and Return protocols are listed on the COT Employee Resources page, listed under the Leave section.

If masks are going to be required, will you also require safety glasses / goggles to be used to protect the eyes where it can also be transmitted?

As of right now, there is no plan to require employees to wear safety glasses or safety goggles. The best way to prevent transmission is to still practice good personal hygiene.
We have struggled getting PPE's and now that we may be opening up to the public next week, the public and employees will be expecting to be wearing masks. How can we meet these expectations? The City is still working on those "reopening" plans; this includes how to manage that expectation for members of the public with respect to wearing face covers. Logistics continues to work on meeting the City's need for supplies, and much of the public has face covers of their own, which would be acceptable as well. More information will come as we move closer to that date.
How do they grade the masks we currently have ? The City has both face coverings and masks to provide employees. Those employees requiring masks will be notified, trained, and provided the masks rated for their work needs.
So if you are going to make mask mandatory, what will you do if some of us do not feel comfortable wearing masks. If it is determined that all staff are to wear masks and you are incapable, please bring this issue to your supervisor. 

We heard that ES has someone test positive, truck unit was left in the back parking lot with no barricade tape or warnings how do we assure ourselves that the unit is being decontaminated since it was moved in the evening or early morning hours

Please discuss this issue with you supervisor to get clarification on how ES trucks are being cleaned. 
With the new social distancing policies, will cubicles that have short walls be rebuilt to provide a higher, more protective barrier between employees?   Changes to physical structures are currently being made by facilities and extending the barriers between cubicles may be one of the adjustments made moving forward. 
People have been discouraged from going to the dump yet the landfill provides income. It seems illogical to discourage activities wholly that provide revenue. Thoughts on this topic? The back up of traffic on to the road is making it dangerous for both visitors to the landfill and City staff. 
I have a question about permits. Tucson Fire Dept. has a permit desk, but anyone who needs to pay or talk to the permit desk, they are allowed to enter back where all employees are. This is not only a safety issue, but if they are sick they will be able to bring COVID to all employees in the Fire Central area. How will this be addressed? Contact with the public will be addressed as part of the City’s reopening plan. 

Sensitivity



Question


Answer


I would like to suggest sensitivity training for management. It is very stressful to expose oneself to the outside world in this pandemic, to acknowledge those that come in to work increasing chances of exposure.


Thank you for the suggestion, we are open to any training opportunities.


What is being done to help employees deal with the stresses of these changes?


We understand the difficulty and stress of these times, and the City provides EAP services through our insurance provider. Cigna is providing resources free of charge for all customers, clients, and communities to help manage high stress and anxiety during this time. Call Cigna's 24-hour toll-free help line 1.866.912.1687

Recently transgender bathroom signs showed up all at the main police station.  What is the policy that governs transgender people being allowed to use the bathroom of their choice or the legalities to a small child being in the bathroom at the same time as a person of the opposite sex? The City of Tucson’s organizational practice and expectation is that employees have the right to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identity. This is considered a transgender-inclusive policy and practice.  All employees (and members of the public) have the right to determine the most appropriate and comfortable option for themselves.  For example, a person who identifies as a man should be permitted to use the men’s restroom/locker rooms, and a person who identifies as a woman should be permitted to use the women’s restroom/locker rooms. The placards are posted on restroom doors to alleviate any confusion or ambiguity about the department and city’s rules associated with transgender restroom access. TPD received guidance from the City’s Human Resources and legal personnel regarding the language on the placards. 

Stay at Home



Question


Answer


If President issues a National Shelter at Home.  Will employees who currently are working from City offices be instructed to stay home?


We are already following the Governor's order to stay at home and only approved exceptions can be made by your Department Director, based on business need.


Do you anticipate a shelter in place order? Will essential employees be provided documentation to travel to and from work?


We are currently abiding by the State/local stay at home order.  No documentation will be required at this time.

 

Testing



Question


Answer


Has anyone tested positive here at the city of Tucson?


Unknown at this time


Is any employee reporting in that they have COVID-19? How about the County?


As of the Friday April 3rd Town Hall online Meeting, there are no confirmed cases for City employees.  Unknown for County Employees.


Is the city thinking about testing employees for cov19?


The City does not intent to test all employees, as tests for all may not be available.  Staff has been working closely with those that have daily and close contact exposure to determine a process and need for testing.

Will testing be required for employees to return to work?   Testing requirements for returning to work have not yet been determined.
It is my understanding that the antibody test shows if we have had COVID-19.  Assuming we take the test, if we don't have the antibody, what does that mean? COVID-19 antibody and health questions are best directed to the Arizona Department of Health Services: https://www.azdhs.gov/index.php 

 

Time Sheets



Question


Answer


As a salaried professional, we are paid for a job and not by the hour.  Is it appropriate that I am required to turn in a time sheet of all tasks I've completed and how much time I spent on those tasks?


This is not a time sheet and is not for payroll recordkeeping purposes.  Due to this crisis there are different reasons as to why we are requesting the logging of work completion. One reason for the tracking is to supply FEMA and/or other federal agencies with appropriate data so the City can seek reimbursement of costs related to the crisis.

Form is no longer in use.

 

Tuition Reimbursement, Travel



Question


Answer


I saw that tuition reimbursement was ended temporarily. Do you see this restarting in the future?


Yes, that is the intent. Those that are currently receiving reimbursement will continue. Suspension is for any new requests.


What about those of us that already submitted for tuition reimbursement for this semester? Will that not be paid now?


Yes, the suspension of the program is for new requests.

Travel for training has been suspended for the rest of the year for investigators so is this going to apply to the commander level as well? It seems they do alot of traveling for networking . . . 

Yes, city business travel is currently suspended; this applies to all employees.

 

Unused Leave



Question


Answer


We encourage staff to use FFCRA/Pandemic Leave as necessary, but what happens to unused FFCRA/Pandemic Leave hours once things settle?


Since this leave is not an accrued leave, it is provided based on need and is available for employees as a need arises. Unused Paid FFCRA/Pandemic Leave will not be paid out after the pandemic or granted to employees who did not have a need to use it once things settle.


What about those individuals that are maxed out / accruing / after alternative is maxed / do you lose it


This has not been determined by City Manager's Office.


Would you mind please giving consideration to temporarily lifting the vacation cap accrual (i.e. 288 hours)? At least during the "stay at home" order?


Thank you for the suggestion.

 

 

Utility Shutoffs



Question


Answer


Can you address utilities and shut offs for anyone who can't pay


Tucson Water will not disconnect potable water service for non-payment. Those currently disconnected will be re-connected. Customers will be responsible to pay for all water service received during this time and should continue to make payments of their Utility Services Bill to avoid higher bill at a later date. This policy is in effect until further notice.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/newsnet/tucson-electric-power-suspending-disconnnects-during-covid-19-crisis

When will locks on meters resume?   Mayor and Council will make that decision with recommendations from city staff. 

 

Wellness



Question


Answer


What can I/we do to help you?


Stay safe, stay positive and continue to support your department.

 

Work from Home



Question


Answer


How long do you expect the working from home situation to last?


For now, mid-month to end of month but will be evaluated on a weekly basis.


Instead of taking time and need to take care of kids should they be providing laptops to work from home?


IT is issuing laptops as best as possible, work with your supervisor to verify that you have telecommuting work available.


Since I do not have internet access and if I am the only one on the floor why would I not be able to work from my office?


The City of Tucson is following the Governor's order to stay at home, and only approved exceptions can be made by your Department Director, based on business need.


If laptops are available and you need to be accessed for kids reason can they deny a laptop?


If you are home due to school or day care closure you have options available to you.  Telecommuting can be one option.  Work with your leadership.  Leadership has the authority to determine essential and non-essential work.


Why are there employees at Tucson water that are able to work from not being sent home? when they could take care of a child while another employee goes into work?


Tucson Water is coordinating Telecommuting as best as operations and equipment allow.


If someone has the ability to work from home and qualifies for the leave can they still use leave?


Both Leaves have qualifying reasons to be able to use it, it is available if the employee needs it and doesn't have meaningful work or does not have Telecommuting.


I would like to embrace the opportunity to continue to telecommute from home several days a week once the pandemic is over.  Is this an opportunity the City will provide for all employees?


This is an option that the City may explore in the future.


Why is it that all management can work from home, instead of giving up their laptops to UARS to work from home?


IT is issuing laptops as best as possible; work with your supervisor to verify that you have telecommuting work available.

Have we done a study on how much can be saved (for example, utilities) by continuing telecommuting?

No. We have not done a study on cost savings to the City as a result of large-scale telecommuting.

I actually enjoy working from home, is there any possibility that jobs can be done from home permanently? 

Work from home options will be explored as an outcome of the current virtual City services arrangement.

 

InfoTech



Question


Answer


Struggling a little with Office 365 and OneDrive. Would greatly appreciate web trainings.


We are currently working with Microsoft to do Microsoft led training. These training will be entry level and advance level classes. We have tentative dates and will communicate them when they have been finalized.  Also, IT will continue to send weekly emails for new training opportunities, as well as posting this information on the COT Employee Engagement Workforce Development page, and the IT intranet webpage.

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hr/employee-engagement-workforce-development


How are you ensuring that all employees are given the consideration of telecommunicating if IT has not been able to complete the setup on my city computer to-date?


Departments provided the requirements for the people that will be working from home.  Please work with your administrator and or Deputy director be added to the list.  IT will continue to deploy computers as the need arises and product is available.


How are Outlook and MS Teams working for you and the City so far?


We have heard positive reviews on the change.  Over the past week we have seen 42,000 chat messages from 1,439 employees.  On the outlook side 802,000 emails have been sent or delivered.  We continue to offer instructor led and video training to help with the adoption of these new tools.


Thanks to you and Colin and his team at IT.  Is there a plan to expand on our videoconferencing capabilities for virtual meetings?


We are open to suggestions on how to expand this technology further.  The plan is to continue to expand the use of this technology. We are purchasing webcams for desktops as the need arises and will be working with departments to enhance the technology in their conference rooms to support this video and desktop sharing.


If power, internet, cell service goes down, how/where do we get information/direction?


Today the city has a radio network (slightly antiquated) but we can deploy radios as a backup.  There is also the PCWin radio network that is being used for public safety services. We are assuming something that large that it would be only public safety and water services running.


It would really help with customer service if we were able to send our desk phones to our home/cell phones.  This way we can answer them as soon as they call.


The city has a software phone application that will allow city employees to answer their desk phones as if they are in the office.  It does require a city-issued computer and headset with a microphone.  In anticipation of this need, we ordered headsets that have microphones, which are available at the helpdesk.  In the coming weeks, this would also run off via an application on a smartphone (similar to WhatsApp). Please see the screenshot worksheet for pictures.


The links on the FAQ go to a page that says page is not found, just fyfi


The broken links have been repaired.


I am a plan reviewer, and having great difficulty working from home because A) The Office 365 on my laptop isn't licensed, and B) I need a second, much large computer monitor to do my job efficiently from home, but  my organization will not allow its employees to check out one of the two 30"  computer monitors we normally use., to use at our homes.  Would you please allow City Departments to check out computer equipment to its employees for use at home during this time of emergency?


The license for office 365 can be addressed via the helpdesk.  It requires your city username and password to activate the license.  This link also has instructions on how you can solve this issue.  https://support.office.com/en-us/article/sign-in-to-office-b9582171-fd1f-4284-9846-bdd72bb28426#ID0EAACAAA=PC

 

We understand this is a difficult time, and the current circumstance is inconvenient.  At the beginning of the crisis, the initial priority was getting employees the ability to Work from home as possible.  Our goal is to make everyone functional and as then improve as needed.  Connecting monitors will require the ordering of different parts and pieces for a diverse number of home setups. Furthermore, putting together equipment would increase IT support times as the technical abilities vary from person to person.  If we took on monitors from day one, it would have eclipsed the other efforts e.g., workstation deployment, office 365, Microsoft Teams training sessions, internet firewall upgrades, phone system upgrade, and application modifications. However, we are looking at plan for monitors.

 

The ELT is discussing options to make this more ideal in the future.  However, we focused our efforts on the employees that are not capable of performing their functions at the moment.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.


FYI: VDI from my home computer did not allow me to have audio for this phone presentation; I could only get here with audio using internet only.


Please contact the helpdesk and we will be happy to assist.


is there a reason why desktops are not being utilized as equipment to take home for work?


Yes, the risk associated with taking home desktop equipment is higher.  Different things are done to add additional protection to laptops from a cybersecurity perspective.   While we understand not being on the computer used daily is inconvenient, the last thing we want is to compound the current situation with cyber issues or loss of sensitive data.


Do we know when the laptops that were ordered will be in and handed out?


Laptops have been handed out, based on the need that was reported by department leadership.  We understand that there have been some gaps if someone was missed. Please contact your Manager or Administrator and we will address it if possible.  There are a limited number of mobile computing devices left.  However, we can support another 350 employees on VDI.  If an employee does not have a home computer to run VDI, we are compiling a list to find alternatives solutions.


I understand not taking desktop computers home. But I really need a monitor, mouse and keyboard to make my surface pro / workstation comfortable. I have a very sore neck and shoulders today and I am pretty sure it is because I'm hunched over my surface pro every day.


There are mice and keyboards for the surface pros in IT.  We apologize for the inconvenience, please reach out the helpdesk and we can help.    We are working on a plan for the monitors situation.


Just want to give a big shout out to IT for their patience, diligence and innovation.  They have been fantastic.


Thank you.  It is our pleasure to help in this difficult time. 


It would really help with customer service if we were able to send our desk phones to our home/cell phones.  This way we can answer them as soon as they call.

 

(similar question – same answer)

Any chance to get city cell phones or office phones in the short term while telecommuting?


The city has a software phone application that will allow city employees to answer their desk phones as if they are in the office.  It does require a city-issued computer and headset with a microphone.  In anticipation of this need, we ordered headsets that have microphones, which are available at the helpdesk.  In the next coming weeks, this would also run off via an application on a smartphone (similar to WhatsApp). Please see the screenshot worksheet for pictures.

 


To be clear desktop computers are not to go home for security, how about laptops or tablets for field employees who are using personal home internet to gain access or should we only be on City secured connection?


Laptop and tablets can go home.  However, your department leadership must approve of this action.


Why aren't we using the Kronos app for employees on their city phones?


Thank you. We are exploring this as an option and will update this question as more details are discovered.


Have we explored using the call functionality in Teams to communicate with each other if a phone call is necessary? Have used this and it works pretty well for individual calls or group calls.


Thank you.   Many people are utilizing this functionality today.


Employees can also sign up on Google Voice for a false number that can be used consistently without giving out your number


Yes.  Google Voice is possible but is subject to departmental approval.  Please see notes on the software phone as this will become part of the portfolio of Unified Communication tools.  The new suite of unified communication tools (Microsoft Teams, Chat, Voice Mail to Email, Video Conferencing, Software Phones) will continue and be further integrated into city applications to improve efficiency and collaboration.

Do we have instructions on what to do if we lose the internet? Say Ransom ware. How do we report. Phone tree?

The City has an emergency texting service to communicate with employees. Please make sure you have provided the Executive Assistant in your department the best number to reach you at in the event of an emergency.

Is there potential to save money on real estate assets if people work remotely? 

The City will be exploring all opportunities for cost savings moving forward, including this suggestion.
Trials on programs on my work laptop and other co-workers have expired and we are not able to work until they renew the trial or license. Administrators have been contacted yet we have yet to hear anything. I am a sitting duck. Any way we can get that settled?  IT is working with departments to meet employee needs during telework. Please have the appropriate representative from your department notify your Business Relationship Manager from IT.          

 

Safety



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Answer


For those of us who are working face to face with First Responders and unable to telecommute, what can the City do to help protect us from COVID-19.


The City continues to follow the CDC Guidelines and Pima County Health Department Guidelines for employee protection. If your job tasks indicate you are required to wear certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), you will be provided with it. Please continue to practice good hygiene, washing your hands frequently/using hand sanitizer and social distancing.


What PPE is available to me to protect me from COVID-19?


If your job tasks require PPE, you will be issued the required PPE. As a reminder for day to day operations, please continue to practice good hygiene, washing your hands frequently/using hand sanitizer and social distancing to best protect yourself from COVID-19.


What type of training are our first responders receiving to protect themselves and also, do they have enough information to help guide the public in the right direction as far as testing and what the testing process is?


First Responders are receiving daily messaging, to include videos, on how to best protect themselves while responding to emergencies in the public. First Responders also receive guidance from their Chain of Command and the Pima County Health Department and/or the applicable CDC Guideline.

Our first responders are not responsible for providing direction or guidance to the public on getting tested. The individual’s healthcare provider is responsible for guiding their patient through the process for screening and testing of COVID-19.


There are about 20 of us in a building shared space (cubicles). We are practicing the 6’ distancing rule, but is being in a shared space considered safe?


The City continues to follow the recommended guidelines of CDC and the Pima County Health Department for disinfection protocols. Shared spaces should be disinfected by the individual leaving the area, and/or disinfected by the next person if they are unsure as to whether or not this occurred.


What happens if someone tests positive in my workspace?


If you are considered to have contact exposure under the CDC guidelines, you will be notified that you have had a potential exposure