Update for Faculty & Staff in Nassau, Suffolk

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 7:00 PM

As a follow up to our email last week, Human Resources has helped us by identifying those of you who live in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. A Long Island Railroad (LIRR) strike remains a strong possibility, on or about July 20. The Emergency Management Operations Team and Columbia University Human Resources are working together to monitor the situation.

We have emailed all faculty and staff who listed home addresses in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, asking them to fill out a brief two-question survey to help us identify additional possibilities.
To support those of you who live in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, we have the following recommendations:

  • Those of you who live in areas served by the LIRR should identify yourselves to your supervisors to help the planning process.
  • The MTA continues to report that it anticipates significantly longer commute times on roadways, shuttle buses and Queens/Brooklyn subway lines if a strike occurs, so please take this into account as you make plans.
  • The MTA's LIRR strike plan web page lists information about buses to subway, park and ride, HOV lanes and ferry service.
  • Consistent with University Policy and operational needs, we encourage you to consider telecommuting, or using vacation or personal days should a strike occur:
    • Telecommuting and Remote Access Policy: http://policylibrary.columbia.edu/remote-access-policy.
      CUIT offers several resources and guidance for managing these arrangements securely; those who rely on local IT services should coordinate with your respective support teams.
    • Flexible Work Arrangements Policy: http://hr.columbia.edu/policies/fwa.
      The Flexible Work Arrangements Policy includes guidelines for telecommuting and flexible work arrangements.
    • Vacation Policy: http://policylibrary.columbia.edu/paid-vacation.
  • Carpooling, either to the MTA subway system or to the University, may be an effective option; again, please take into account that heavy traffic is anticipated. The Office of Work/Life hosts an online carpooling bulletin board for members of the Columbia community.
  • If you have additional questions about work arrangements specific to your personal situation regarding the possible strike, please talk with your supervisor, or your local HR representative.

As the situation changes, we will continue to update this website, and the Columbia homepage, www.columbia.edu. The Columbia University Medical Center homepage, www.cumc.columbia.edu, will also be updated.

We all hope that a strike will not occur, but recognize the need to be prepared. We wish everyone the best.