Vaccine Announcements

Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 9:40 AM
Subject: Update on Return to Work Date & Uploading Vaccination Verification

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I’m writing today with an important announcement — we have decided to move the start date for our return to in-person work back by two weeks, from August 2 to August 16, in response to requests for additional time to prepare to come back to campuses and offices. 

The decision to delay our return to campuses and offices grew also from our commitment to the protocols for health and safety walkthroughs that we developed in consultation with labor leadership. As you know, part of the preparation for our return to in-person work and instruction includes conducting campus health and safety walkthroughs with your labor representatives. We want to allow adequate time for the scheduling and administration of these walkthroughs.

Campus leaders and managers will retain the flexibility to determine that some employees need to start coming in before August 16 in order to be ready for classes to begin on August 25.

Vaccination and Testing 

The modified calendar will also afford needed time to institute a University-wide systematic testing protocol. As we have known for many months, vaccination is the key to our safe return to campuses and offices because the highly effective COVID vaccines are without doubt the best way to prevent transmission of the virus. I am pleased that our last survey a month ago found that 87 percent of CUNY faculty and at least 70 percent of staff have been vaccinated, and I urge those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so. As a reminder, employees get up to four hours of paid time off to receive each required dose.

To protect the safety of unvaccinated faculty, staff and students as well as those who choose not to disclose their vaccination status, these individuals will be required to be tested. Details of the testing protocols and procedures are forthcoming. Unless things change, employees will not need to be routinely tested if they voluntarily provide vaccine information and supporting documentation in CUNYfirst. Starting August 16, anyone entering a CUNY facility will need to be fully vaccinated (two weeks beyond the last vaccination shot) or have a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days.  

Vaccination Verification

All employees can start uploading their information today by signing in to CUNYfirst and clicking on the Vaccine Verification link. To complete your vaccination information, you will need the date of your second shot for Pfizer and Moderna or the date of your single shot for Johnson & Johnson; a scan or photograph of your CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card (or an equivalent document if you received your vaccination outside the U.S.), and, if you have the NY State Excelsior Pass app, a scan or photograph of your pass on your mobile device. We are working with NYS Excelsior to link the pass to CUNY for validation purposes. 

Please note that employees returning the week of August 16 will need to upload their vaccination verification documents by Friday, August 6, showing they will be fully vaccinated by the 16th. For those starting later than August 16, the deadlines for uploading are 10 days before the first week you are due back. For instance, if you are starting the week of August 23, the deadline is August 13. These voluntary submissions will facilitate your access to a campus or office in August and throughout the fall semester. 

If you are not fully vaccinated or do not wish to disclose your status, you will be able to opt out of testing if you have an approved request for a fully remote accommodation. Approved or pending requests need to be indicated on the Vaccine Information Page in CUNYfirst and will be verified by campus Human Resources offices after they are submitted. 

For a visual guide to submitting information to CUNYfirst, please visit here. For general information on getting back to working in person, please refer to this FAQ. If you still have questions, please consult your HR office. If you have a technical problem, please contact your campus or office help desk for assistance. All CUNY employees — vaccinated, unvaccinated or undisclosed — are required to follow the University’s Guidelines for CUNY Fall 2021 Reopening Where Not Everyone is Fully Vaccinated.

Finally, please note that the symptom tracker feature of Everbridge will no longer be in use after the return to workplaces on August 16. We will transition to a new feature in Everbridge that will display a CUNY VAX pass for those who have verified their vaccination information in CUNYfirst.  

CUNY and campus leaders throughout the University are continuing to work hard to facilitate a safe and smooth return for all our students, faculty and staff. I reiterate our ironclad commitment to protecting the health of all members of our community in a climate that continues to be fluid and rapidly changeable. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the next month; until then, please continue to stay safe.

Sincerely,

Felo

 

Additional Resources

Eligible New Yorkers can find vaccination sites and more information at https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ and also schedule appointments at https://vaccinepod.nyc.gov/.


Archived Announcements

Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 9:40 AM
Subject: Update on Return to Work Date & Uploading Vaccination Verification

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I’m writing today with an important announcement — we have decided to move the start date for our return to in-person work back by two weeks, from August 2 to August 16, in response to requests for additional time to prepare to come back to campuses and offices. 

The decision to delay our return to campuses and offices grew also from our commitment to the protocols for health and safety walkthroughs that we developed in consultation with labor leadership. As you know, part of the preparation for our return to in-person work and instruction includes conducting campus health and safety walkthroughs with your labor representatives. We want to allow adequate time for the scheduling and administration of these walkthroughs.

Campus leaders and managers will retain the flexibility to determine that some employees need to start coming in before August 16 in order to be ready for classes to begin on August 25.

Vaccination and Testing 

The modified calendar will also afford needed time to institute a University-wide systematic testing protocol. As we have known for many months, vaccination is the key to our safe return to campuses and offices because the highly effective COVID vaccines are without doubt the best way to prevent transmission of the virus. I am pleased that our last survey a month ago found that 87 percent of CUNY faculty and at least 70 percent of staff have been vaccinated, and I urge those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so. As a reminder, employees get up to four hours of paid time off to receive each required dose.

To protect the safety of unvaccinated faculty, staff and students as well as those who choose not to disclose their vaccination status, these individuals will be required to be tested. Details of the testing protocols and procedures are forthcoming. Unless things change, employees will not need to be routinely tested if they voluntarily provide vaccine information and supporting documentation in CUNYfirst. Starting August 16, anyone entering a CUNY facility will need to be fully vaccinated (two weeks beyond the last vaccination shot) or have a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days.  

Vaccination Verification

All employees can start uploading their information today by signing in to CUNYfirst and clicking on the Vaccine Verification link. To complete your vaccination information, you will need the date of your second shot for Pfizer and Moderna or the date of your single shot for Johnson & Johnson; a scan or photograph of your CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card (or an equivalent document if you received your vaccination outside the U.S.), and, if you have the NY State Excelsior Pass app, a scan or photograph of your pass on your mobile device. We are working with NYS Excelsior to link the pass to CUNY for validation purposes. 

Please note that employees returning the week of August 16 will need to upload their vaccination verification documents by Friday, August 6, showing they will be fully vaccinated by the 16th. For those starting later than August 16, the deadlines for uploading are 10 days before the first week you are due back. For instance, if you are starting the week of August 23, the deadline is August 13. These voluntary submissions will facilitate your access to a campus or office in August and throughout the fall semester. 

If you are not fully vaccinated or do not wish to disclose your status, you will be able to opt out of testing if you have an approved request for a fully remote accommodation. Approved or pending requests need to be indicated on the Vaccine Information Page in CUNYfirst and will be verified by campus Human Resources offices after they are submitted. 

For a visual guide to submitting information to CUNYfirst, please visit here. For general information on getting back to working in person, please refer to this FAQ. If you still have questions, please consult your HR office. If you have a technical problem, please contact your campus or office help desk for assistance. All CUNY employees — vaccinated, unvaccinated or undisclosed — are required to follow the University’s Guidelines for CUNY Fall 2021 Reopening Where Not Everyone is Fully Vaccinated.

Finally, please note that the symptom tracker feature of Everbridge will no longer be in use after the return to workplaces on August 16. We will transition to a new feature in Everbridge that will display a CUNY VAX pass for those who have verified their vaccination information in CUNYfirst.  

CUNY and campus leaders throughout the University are continuing to work hard to facilitate a safe and smooth return for all our students, faculty and staff. I reiterate our ironclad commitment to protecting the health of all members of our community in a climate that continues to be fluid and rapidly changeable. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the next month; until then, please continue to stay safe.

Sincerely,

Felo

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2021 12:31 AM
Subject: Governor Requires COVID Vaccines for CUNY and SUNY In-Person Students

Colleagues,

Some breaking news from our governor a few moments ago: COVID Vaccines will be mandatory for in-person students in the fall. This applies to both CUNY and SUNY. There is no mention of a requirement for faculty and staff. The union is watching the situation carefully and we will update you when we receive more information. 

https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo/status/1391784406453477383

Regards,

Scott Cally
PSC Chapter Chair
Professor of Theatre Arts
Kingsborough Community College
Department of Communications & Performing Arts

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 10:48 AM
Subject: Vaccine Update

Good morning,

Sharing the following from EVC Batista:

As we continue to work with the City and State to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among CUNY stakeholders, the following is the current status of our efforts.

  • Vaccination Sites on CUNY Campuses

We currently have three City-run vaccination sites on the following CUNY campuses: City College, Lehman College, and Queensborough Community College. While these sites originally provided us with weekly vaccine allotments for faculty and staff, the City has now agreed to expand the allotments at the sites to include CUNY students as well as neighboring CUNY campuses. 

We are working out the details of this expansion and how best to provide access to students and other campuses. More information will be provided soon. 

  • City Vaccination Sites Open to Walk-ins

As of April 23rd, all City-run COVID-19 vaccination sites, including those on the above three mentioned CUNY campuses, are now open to walk-in appointments.

  • All New Yorkers eligible for the vaccines can participate.
  • Only those ages 16 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine, and only those 18 and older can receive the Moderna vaccine.
  • The expansion to all eligible New Yorkers is limited to sites run by the city’s health department and its public hospital system. 
  • State Vaccination Sites Open to Some Walk-ins

New York State has also begun allowing walk-in vaccinations to anyone older than 60 at 16 of its vaccination sites, including five in New York City. 

We will continue to share information about the vaccination process as it become available.

Best,

Hector

Hector Batista

Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
The City University of New York
205 East 42nd Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10017
646.664.9106

President Schrader

 

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 7:11 PM
Subject: Vaccine Update

Dear College Community, 

Please see the following pertinent vaccination-related information and developments below from EVC Hector Batista. 

  1. Priority Vaccination Appointments for CUNY  Employees

We are working on a potential partnership with the City to secure COVID-19 vaccination appointments for eligible CUNY employees. The City would guarantee spots for our employees, on a weekly basis, at their point of dispensing sites (PODs). To move forward with this opportunity, we will first gauge the CUNY community’s interest in being vaccinated through CUNY via a forthcoming survey from the University’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.  

The above initiative is part of the University’s broader community vaccination efforts which have also included priority employee vaccinations at State-run sites at Medgar Evers and York, as well as at a City-managed site opening at City College later this week. 

  1. Eligible Employees & General Information

The categories of individuals that are eligible to receive the vaccine continues to be expanded (last updated on March 22, 2021) by the NY Department of Health and is available here: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine. 

The list will continue to change as federal and state guidance changes and more vaccines become available.

  1. Registration and Scheduling

In order to confirm eligibility, register, and schedule vaccination appointments, please encourage campus community members to visit the following websites: 

  • For State-run vaccination sites, individuals should visit:

https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

  1. Proof of Eligibility

Individuals who obtain vaccination appointments will be asked to bring proof of eligibility. If eligibility is due to occupation, the proof of eligibility may be an employee ID card, a pay stub, etc., depending on the specific priority status.

  1. Staff Accommodations

Consistent with legislation signed by the Governor, all CUNY employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection associated with receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The leave will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-signs-legislation-granting-employees-time-receive-covid-19-vaccination. 

We will continue to share information about the vaccination process as it become available.

President Schrader

Hector Batista Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer The City University of New York
205 East 42nd Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10017 646.664.9106

Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:34 PM
Subject: Vaccine Eligibility Information

Colleagues,
New York State has expanded COVID Vaccine eligibility to include people with the following underlying conditions in phase 1b starting February 14th.

Adults of any age with the following conditions due to increased risk of moderate or severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19: 

  • Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases

  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome

  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes

  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)

  • Pregnancy

  • Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia

  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)

  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's Disease or dementia

  • Liver disease

Full details as well as verification requirements can be found here:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-new-yorkers-comorbidities-and-underlying-conditions-can-make

Regards,

Scott Cally
PSC Chapter Chair
Professor of Theatre Arts
Kingsborough Community College
Department of Communications & Performing Arts

Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 11:17 AM
Subject: Vaccine Eligibility Information #3

Hello all,

We received the following information from VC Batista regarding vaccine eligibility.

Thank you for your patience and collaboration as we continue to work with the City and State on vaccination matters. We have confirmed the following information. Please review and share as appropriate.

  1. Eligible Employees in Phase 1b

The categories of occupations within NYS Department of Health’s Phase 1b list that currently may apply to CUNY employees are as follows: 

  • Individuals Age 65 and older
  • In-person college instructors
  • Fire Service
  • Public Safety Communications
  • Other Sworn and Civilian Personnel
  • Other Police or Peace Officers
  • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff
  • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Providers
  • Employees or Support Staff of Licensed or Registered Childcare Setting

  1. Next Steps for Eligible Staff 

Please encourage staff in the expanded Phase 1b categories (as listed above) that they can begin the vaccination process. Eligible employees can determine eligibility, schedule appointments, and obtain more relevant details by visiting the following websites:


We will continue to share information about the vaccination process as it become available.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to practice social distancing, mask-wearing, and good hand washing and sanitizing hygiene. As always, any person who develops symptoms of should contact their health care provider.

Karen St. Hilaire
COVID-19 Liaison

Kingsborough Community College
Telephone: 718.368.6524
Email: kcc.covidresponse@kbcc.cuny.edu

 

Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:23 AM
Subject: Vaccine Eligibility Information

Dear College Community,

I am sharing communication to from Vice Chancellor Batista regarding COVID Vaccine Eligibility.  Note that the Office of Communications and Marketing will be developing a dedicated space on our webiste for this information to be accessed as well.

Please note, we are still awaiting further details from the State about ways to facilitate the vaccination process for CUNY’s eligible staff and any potential next steps. In the interim, please note the following pertinent information. 

  1. Eligible Employees & General Information

The list of the categories of employees that are covered by NYS Department of Health and additional vaccination information is available here, https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine. The list will continue to change as federal and state guidance changes and more vaccines become available.

  1. Eligibility Confirmation

In order to confirm their eligibility, register into the system, and then schedule vaccination appointments, employees should get started by visiting https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.  Again, this is for people who are filling the roles outlined on DOH website as eligible in 1A/1B.

  1. Proof of Eligibility

Employees who obtain vaccination appointments will be asked to bring proof of eligibility. If their eligibility is due to their occupation, the proof of eligibility may be an employee ID card, a pay stub, etc., depending on the specific priority status. Therefore, please alert your Human Resource departments that they may experience an increase in requests for employment documentation from staff who may have misplaced or cannot access such documents.

  1. Staff Accommodations

Guidance is forthcoming from Vice Chancellor Doriane Gloria around accommodations for staff who need to take time for vaccine appointments.

In addition, for your information, eligible New Yorkers can find vaccination sites and more information athttps://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ and also schedule appointments at https://vaccinepod.nyc.gov/.

We will continue to share information about the vaccination process as it become available.

Hector Batista

Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer

Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer

The City University of New York

205 East 42nd Street, 18th Floor

New York, NY 10017

646.664.9106

From: Barbara Bowen

Subject: Tuesday Update: Expanded Eligibility for Vaccines

Date: January 12, 2021 at 4:22:48 PM EST

Dear PSC Members,

I have a few short updates on availability of COVID vaccines, and I will keep sharing information as we receive it. 

Thank you for the many kind responses the union has received to my previous messages about the vaccine. We are trying to answer individual questions as well as we can, but the information from Albany changes every day. 

Professional Staff: The PSC leadership, together with our statewide affiliate, continues to press the governor’s office for a clear, official statement that “in-person college instructors” includes professional staff. The presentation given by the Governor’s Office last night listed “In-Person College Faculty and Instructors” as included in Phase 1B. The Governor’s Office reports that they are working on a clarification. 

Professional staff who are required to work in person who want to receive the vaccine may want to sign up now to request an appointment so that your appointment is in place by the time your eligibility is confirmed. Several college Human Resources Offices have also informed faculty and staff that they are working on providing further information to employees requesting proof of on-campus work, should such proof be requested. 

Eligibility Expanded Today: New Yorkers 65 and Over + Immunocompromised: Governor Cuomo announced this morning that New Yorkers age 65 and over are now eligible to receive the vaccine, as a result of new federal guidance. New guidance from the federal government also indicates that immunocompromised New Yorkers should also be eligible now, though as of this morning the State was still working to define “immunocompromised” for these purposes and to develop a plan for distribution to these New Yorkers. The state is still receiving only 300,000 doses of vaccine per week. Several PSC members eligible because of age have successfully scheduled appointments, but it may take some time to find an appointment; start by signing up here

State of Residency: Your eligibility to receive a vaccination as part of Phase 1B depends on where you work, not where you live. The Governor’s Office confirmed last night that eligibility is not restricted by residence. Thus, if you are a faculty member required to teach on campus, you qualify to receive the vaccine regardless of whether you live out of state. 

Expanding Eligibility to All Faculty and Staff: As soon as the union can confirm that all professional staff required to work on campus are officially categorized as eligible for vaccination now, we will press to expand eligibility to all PSC members in anticipation of a general return to on-campus work next fall. The PSC leadership is working to ensure that all members who wish to be vaccinated have the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine before being required to work on campus.

Priority for On-Campus Workers and At-Risk Groups: At the same time, however, we ask you to be mindful of the urgent need for in-person workers both at CUNY and throughout the state to have access to vaccination now. Phase 1B includes many of the occupations with high risk of exposure in which our students and their families often work: public transit, childcare, healthcare and grocery stores. Access to vaccination for these New Yorkers and our on-campus colleagues will keep everybody safer. 

Supporting Vaccination Hubs: Finally, the PSC has been updated by the CUNY administration and is awaiting further clarification about whether any CUNY campuses are being considered as vaccination hubs, whether PSC members will be invited to volunteer to help in vaccination sites, and what provisions will be in place for those who need to take time away from work to receive the vaccine or who wish to take time away to volunteer. I will let you know as soon as we hear more.

Thank you for your patience as the union receives answers to our questions and continues to use every avenue we can to advocate for our members. 

In solidarity,

Barbara Bowen

President, PSC/CUNY

Governor Cuomo has just announced his acceptance of federal guidance extending COVID vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and up. As for CUNY specific employees, the official guidance remains that only in-person college instructors are eligible for the vaccine. PSC is continuing to pressure the state and city to extend this eligibility to at least include all CUNY employees performing in-person work. The union is also continuing to work to ensure that all PSC employees are able to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Obviously the eligibility rules continue to evolve and it will take some amount of time for the city and state websites to update with the new rules. We expect more information to be available as we move through the week.

Regards,
Scott Cally PSC Chapter Chair
Professor of Theatre Arts Kingsborough Community College Department of Communications & Performing Arts