Staff Information

STAFF INFORMATION UPDATES:  

LEVEL 5 UPDATE 21st OCTOBER 2020.

In response to the government’s announcement on Monday regarding national restrictions on the movement of people, IT Sligo will further reduce on campus activity from tomorrow evening, Wednesday 21st of October.
This will mean even less people on campus and more staff working remotely.  
The Institute has reviewed all of our activities to ensure that we are in alignment with the Nationwide move to Level 5 restrictions tomorrow night. Programme teams are asked to review their current on campus activity to ensure that only activity that cannot be delivered remotely is on campus in the next 6 weeks. Programme teams should communicate any timetable changes to students directly.
Your health & wellbeing are our priority. Therefore, we are asking you to engage with your direct line manager to discuss and agree your working arrangement for the coming weeks. In line with government guidelines, we are requesting staff who have the ability to perform their work duties remotely to do so, and only  attend  on campus for essential work activities that cannot be performed remotely.  A meeting will be held with the Academic Council this Friday, October 23, to discuss programme delivery for the reminder of this semester.
Further updates and clarifications will be sent to you via email in the coming days.  
We thank you for your ongoing support and we will do everything we can to support you throughout this difficult time.
So what does Level 5 mean for our sector?  Here is a statement from Minister For Further & Higher Education, Simon Harris TD:

What Level 5 means for Further and Higher Education – Minister Harris

 

The Government has decided that as of midnight on Wednesday 21st October all of Ireland will be placed on Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID.

Level 5 of the Plan is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/

 

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), Minister Harris said: “Our further and higher education institutions have already moved classes primarily online, with student and staff welfare being of paramount importance. I want to pay tribute to the collective efforts of staff and students in continuing educational programmes in this way.
“We are now in a scenario where Ireland as a whole must move to Level 5 of the Government’s plan for living with COVID, and that means that all further and higher education institutions should continue to deliver the vast majority of classes online.
“The Level 5 measures announced last night designate higher and further education as essential insofar as onsite presence is required and such education activities cannot be held remotely.  Institutions and providers are best placed to determine where onsite presence is required but essential activities at Level 5 in further and higher education may include:-
  • Teaching and research in laboratories, practical and skills-based tuition, workshops (including training of apprentices).
  • Engagement, including small group learning, with learners whose particular needs require additional support over and above that which can be provided online.
  • Scheduled access to libraries and other onsite study space for those students who do not otherwise have suitable facilities or home environment to access learning remotely.
  • Small group activity to mitigate disadvantage in literacy, numeracy and basic skills provision including the National Youthreach Programme and community and adult education and literacy programmes.
  • Skills and experiential learning for disciplines related to essential services such as clinical placements and regulated safety training in the construction sector
  • On-campus research activities which cannot be undertaken remotely.
  • Provision of necessary onsite support to meet the mental health and welfare needs of students.
“Campus accommodation will remain open to students and staff but with no visitors permitted. In line with Level 5, from Wednesday midnight students are asked to exercise within 5 kilometres of their accommodation and not visit other households.
“All appropriate protective measures will be maintained to support these onsite activities and to avoid congregation.  For transport to and from campuses for the above essential purposes walking and cycling is encouraged but public transport can be used where necessary.
“This has been a very difficult time for students and for those working in further and higher education, and I want to acknowledge that.  It is clear that programmes will continue to operate primarily online for the remainder of this semester. We will review the position with relevant institutions and stakeholders in the light of experience and the progress of the disease and communicate the position for next semester before the end of the year.”
ENDS

1. Update on Wearing of Face-coverings and PPE

The Executive passed the following new guidelines regarding face coverings and PPE on campus and in classes:

1.     Wear Face coverings in public and communal area’s

2.     Maintain social distancing at 2m , and if this cannot be maintained use face coverings

3.     Wear face coverings in all class activities, labs and classrooms

4.     Under workshops/labs, where a risk assessment has been carried out and 1m distance cannot be maintained you must use PPE grade FFP2 disposal face covering. You should also wear this grade mask if in a vulnerable group.

5.     No face coverings required for staff offices once risk assessment completed and 2m social distancing obtained or screens in place.

2. Entering Offices and Maintaining of Contact Logs. 

As the campus will be welcoming students from 28th Sept, we would like to remind people to restrict their movements on campus and keep a record of all people you are in contact with.  Please follow these guidelines:

  1. DO NOT CALL TO OTHER OFFICES – Each office has been risk assessed and is only allowed an allocated number of people per office.  DO NOT enter another office unless specifically allowed access.  Use the appropriate channels to request work or arrange a virtual meeting.
  2. Structure your day to minimise contact with others.
  3. Use virtual meetings in place of physical meetings (ie MS Teams) or use phone/email.
  4.  Limit your footfall across campus to essential areas.
  5. MAINTAIN YOUR CONTACT TRACING LOG BOOK DAILY (Click here)
  6. Stagger breaks to minimise interactions and take breaks with personnel in your work area while maintaining 2m social distancing.
  7. Avoid mixing with others outside of your direct work group.
The institute will have an approximate 20% capacity of students on campus throughout this semester with almost all lectures held remotely.  However, we will still need to maintain workshops and labs and we estimate an average of 633 students per day on campus.
We will therefore need to increase our efforts to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid 19 by adhering to the guidelines laid out in the Reopening Protocol detailed below.

3. Student Attendance Record

All lecturers need to keep a record of student attendance in each class to help with contact tracing.  Please download the Student Attendance Record Template below.

Student Attendance Record Template

 

REOPENING PROTOCOL DOCUMENTS:

Purpose

The IT Sligo Reopening Protocol has been compiled in response to the Governments Return to Work Safely Protocol and the Roadmap for reopening Society and Business. The protocol has been compiled with representation of the IT Sligo staff via the lead worker representatives.

Exposure to COVID – 19 is a public health risk which affects all citizens.   IT Sligo will always operate within the parameters of public health and safety advice.

The Institutes Reopening Protocol is based on the latest interpretation of national guidelines and is a live working document. It will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and amended to consider new government guidance. Feedback from staff via lead worker representatives as our experience of living with Covid-19 develops, is welcomed

Scope

This document applies to staff and researchers who are planning to return to campus under the Government’s Roadmap for reopening of Society and Business.

Remote working should continue for all that can do so in line with the needs of the institute and with direction and agreement with line managers and in accordance with public health guidelines.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students is paramount.

REOPENING PROTOCOL 2020

SELF DECLARATION FORM

IT Sligo COVID 19 RA Template

COVID INDUCTION TRAINING:  Training to be completed via COVID 19 Moodle page.

Where Staff do not have access to Moodle then they must contact healthandsafety@nullitsligo.ie

Remote Working H&S Guidance

COVID-19 Remote Working Procedure

FAQ’s 

Addendum to Institute of Technology Sligo Mark and Standards Revision 29

“HIGH RISK” & “VERY HIGH RISK” GROUPS

‘Very High Risk’ group

 

  1. The HSE advice on the ‘very high risk’ groups is at:  https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/people-at-higher-risk.html

 

  1. Employees who believes they are at very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 must contact the HR Department who will arrange an appointment with the Institute’s Occupational Health Service (OHS) provider

 

  1. OHS will issue a ‘COVID-19 Risk Assessment Report’.  Where OHS advises that the staff member is at a very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 and cannot attend the workplace, the staff member must complete ‘Circular Letter 0051/2020 Declaration Form’ and returned it to HR accompanied by the OHS Covid-19 Risk Assessment Report.

Where medical diagnosis changes, the staff member must inform the Institute (i.e. their line manager and the HR Dept).

 

  1. In accordance with DPER guidance, where a staff member is deemed as at a very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 but is medically fit for work, then the Institute should prioritise alternative working arrangements to the maximum extent possible e.g. working from home. If remote working in an employee’s current role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their usual core duties.

 

  1. Where a staff member who is at very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 and has been assessed by the OHS as medically unfit for work, the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave Scheme apply.

CIRCULAR LETTERS AVAILABLE HERE

 

‘High Risk’ groups

 

  1. The HSE advice on the ‘high risk’ group is at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/peopleat-higher-risk.html

 

  1. An employee in the ‘high risk’ group who is not ill must attend the workplace where their role requires their attendance on campus, unless advised otherwise by the OHS.

 

  1. In accordance with HSE advice, an employee in the ‘high risk’ group should take extra care to practice social distancing and hand hygiene including the use of face coverings and personal protective equipment where maintaining social distancing is difficult.

 

  1. Where concerns remain, particularly where an employee in the ‘high risk’ group has a role that requires close contact with students and others for prolonged

 

Message from Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo.

Campus Tour