Nearly 3,000 flexible work arrangements have been submitted


“If you don't have a flexible work arrangement in place, that means to the University that you are coming in to work (at the office) five days a week,” Yvonne Powers told the Sept. 15 Staff Council meeting, in urging employees to work with supervisors to get their flexible work forms in to Human Resources.

Powers, director of Employee and Labor Relations, said: “We are still encouraging supervisors to utilize flexible work arrangements where it is appropriate” — where the employee can do their job remotely, at least in part.

As of Sept. 15, 1,351 flexible work arrangement forms had been completed and approved by her office, Powers said, and 1,518 are pending.

Staff poaching

Meanwhile, some Pitt departments have engaged in “tug-of-war situations” over hiring employees lately, she said, so HR has had to ensure that employees and supervisors understand when job-switching between departments is permissible.

She pointed out that HR’s employee handbook specifies that: “Before applying to another position, you must complete time in your position which is twice your provisional period,” but that in “limited, exceptional circumstances” HR will consider waiving this stricture. Her office recently had to modify online applications so that they do not allow employees in provisional periods to successfully apply to other Pitt jobs, and had to update the HR handbook.

Waivers, she emphasized, may only be available if:

  • The employee’s current position is eliminated.

  • The employee requires an accommodation through the Office of Disability Resources and Services.

  • There was a formal complaint or investigation involving the employee’s current job and the resultant recommendation is for the employee to switch positions.

Childcare options

Mark Burdsall, HR’s deputy vice chancellor, outlined two new childcare options now available to Pitt employees.

Just announced was the availability of Full-time employees (including postdocs) who sign up are offered access to a variety of care provider options for both temporary and longer-term child and elder care, as well as care for pets and your home, under an array of circumstances and co-pays.

Among the offerings is backup care for both children and adults for sudden needs on a day-by-day basis. Registration for these services is at

Forty spots are still available for childcare through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania clubhouses in Lawrenceville and Carnegie, for children 3 to 5 years old, he added. But Pitt employees will only have priority for those spots until Oct. 1, he emphasized (see Sept. 10 University Times story).

Staff Council President Angela Coldren announced she had been invited to meet a finalist for the new director of HR, indicating that this hiring process is in its final stages.

Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-758-4859.


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