As of Monday, March 23, all staff, except those identified as essential, have transitioned to remote work and will not be able to access campus buildings until further notice. Please read these tips (login required) for effective ways to work remotely.
Technology for Working Remotely
To forward your desk phone to your cell phone, follow these steps:
- Get a dial tone on your Berklee phone, then dial 91.
- Dial 71 and the phone number to which you'll forward your calls.
- Press the large check (✓) button on the Berklee phone to save your call forwarding.
- The display on the Berklee phone may flash or flutter once this is complete.
You can also route your voice mail to your email by emailing email@example.com.
To get your technology set up correctly, try the following:
- Test WebEx and attend a WebEx training session (offered from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
- Test your VPN access if you need to use Colleague, Informer, PowerCampus (after March 18, 2020), bShare, bcbShare, FileMaker, Sibelius (license server), Reason, or Autocad (license server).
- Download Duo on your mobile device (login required).
- Make sure you have a working set of headphones with a microphone and a camera.
- Loaner laptops are available from Technology Resources on a limited basis and must have vice president–level approval. Laptops can be picked up at the service desk in the basement of 186 Massachusetts Avenue on Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13. After that, email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
- Note that Berklee is unable to resolve internet access issues in the homes or remote locations of employees.
Find more information about preparing to work remotely (login required).
- Please email email@example.com if you need support in getting your technology set up for remote work.
Human Resources: Benefits, Telehealth, Recruitment, and Hiring
Copayments and Out-of-Pocket Costs
Effective immediately, Tufts Health Plan will provide current members access to the following:
- No out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, counseling, and vaccinations. This coverage applies at in-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and other facilities, and at out-of-network providers in the event a member cannot easily find an in-network provider to provide timely services.
- No copayments for medically necessary COVID-19 treatment. This coverage applies at in-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and other facilities, and at out-of-network providers in the event a member cannot easily find an in-network provider to provide timely services.
If you think you are infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are a member of the Tufts Medical Plan, Teladoc doctors can answer questions about the disease, evaluate your risk, and advise you on next steps. Please register for this service now so you’ll already be registered and ready to use it if you happen to feel unwell later on. You can enroll at the Tufts website and follow the link to “Access Teladoc Telemedicine Services.”
In addition, please notify the core response team at firstname.lastname@example.org and let your supervisor know that you are feeling unwell.
If you have questions about your health care information, please contact a member of the Human Resources benefits team at 617-747-2375 or email email@example.com.
Leave of Absence and Paid Time off (PTO)
Review Berklee's Leave of Absence and Paid Time off (PTO) policies online.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020), signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, helps provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. The legislation is very broad and impacts a range of industries and policies, including your benefits. Read about updates to your benefits (login required), including Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and your retirement account.
Commuter Benefits for April
If you have a commuter MBTA pass, you can return it for credit if WageWorks receives it by April 5, 2020. If you have a Perq/Charlie Card, the MBTA will provide a credit if there is absolutely no usage on the card for the month of April. Learn more about these options (login required), as well as parking and other commuter pass programs.
Berklee 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan
You may be concerned about your retirement plan during these volatile times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to have a widespread impact on both the U.S. and global economies over the next several months, and you will see this impact affect your Berklee 403(b) retirement savings plan as well. Transamerica will post articles that address the concerns that you may have in addition to providing their perspective on the economy and markets.
Berklee College of Music, Inc. Retirement Plan (Pension Plan)
For those who are participants in the Berklee College of Music, Inc. Retirement Plan (Pension Plan), the effect is somewhat different. The monthly benefit that you will receive from this plan is based upon your years of service and the salary that you have received from Berklee. Since these items are not affected by the market, you monthly benefit will not change. However, the current lump sum option could be affected by the change in interest rates in plan year 2021. We are closely monitoring this situation and will keep you informed.
As you consider your response to the volatile markets, please keep in mind your long-term retirement goals. A good plan includes selecting an allocation that considers both your time frame and your personal outlook on risk and staying the course. History has shown that the market is resilient, and although short-term impacts can be scary, there is no current indication that the COVID-19 impact will be long-term.
In both the 403(b) and the Pension Plan, it is important to understand that the funding for the benefits provided by these plans are kept in trusts that are separate from Berklee's monies. That means that Berklee cannot use these funds for purposes other than for the benefit of the participants in these plans.
As Berklee considers the myriad complexities and challenges presented by this crisis, we have instituted a freeze on recruitment and hiring for current open faculty, chair, and staff positions at all locations.
If you have new hires who have not started yet, you may decide whether to delay their start date on a case-by-case basis. First, determine whether this is a pressing position that is needed at this time. Can the start date be delayed if an offer has not yet been made? Has the new hire given notice to their current employer? Managers should determine if there is work available for the new hire to perform remotely. For example, managers should consider information needed to get the new hire up to speed in their new job.
New Hire Orientation for Staff and Chairs
Beginning in April, new hire orientation will be held as a virtual orientation through Google Hangout, with presenters joining as needed. The new hire benefits session will be coordinated with new hire orientation. The additional benefits orientation will be held through Google Hangouts. Individuals will be sent invites, and any needed documents will be sent electronically.
New hires can get Berklee IDs from Public Safety when campus operations return to normal.
I-9s and CORIs
Starting March 23, Human Resources will email instructions to new employees along with general onboarding instructions.
Managers of new hires should contact Technology Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate technology needs, including laptops. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Training will be available remotely. Email email@example.com to arrange for an online technology training session.
Assess if your current agency temporary employees can perform their work remotely. If they can, establish a regular daily check-in regarding the work the employee has for the day and expectations for completion. If their work cannot be completed remotely, partner with the agency and Human Resources to end the placement.
We cannot provide Berklee laptops to agency temporary employees at this time since our stock of loaner laptops has been allocated to support remote teaching and current full-time staff working remotely.
Time entry for hourly and salaried staff will continue in the same manner and process through Workday. Exempt-level staff must enter any requested and approved PTO time, and hourly staff must enter all hours worked each pay period as they are currently doing.
Remote faculty and staff are expected to uphold all Berklee expectations for performance and behavior. Human Resources can provide support to ensure that individuals are performing at their highest level in this remote work situation. If you have performance concerns, consult with Human Resources for support in giving feedback, coaching, and/or corrective action in a remote setting.
Human Resources is exploring how we may provide these offerings in a remote setting. Please continue to check the HR web portal page for updated information related to workshops and training sessions.
- Review more benefits information online, and reach out to a member of the benefits team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your Health and Wellness benefits. Human Resources staff can be reached remotely via email, phone, and video conferencing. Human Resources will operate with an extremely limited physical presence on campus, as needed for emergent matters.
Berklee Student Employment will offer the possibility of working remotely to student employees whose work can be performed at locations other than traditional, on-campus workspaces. Supervisors who wish to have their students work remotely must complete the Remote Work Request Form to be processed and reviewed by Student Employment.
The Student Employment team is working with Technology Resources to evaluate feasibility of granting access to certain Berklee technology and systems.
If students provide support for staff who are deemed essential, they may be allowed to work on campus. However, no student employee shall work in an on-campus office or facility without a professional staff/faculty member present.
- Berklee will continue to pay all of our student employees their regular pay during this period of reduced service needs, which is independent of whether their full services are needed.
- Student employees who can complete their regularly scheduled work hours remotely should make every attempt to do so and should enter their times into Workday by 2:00 p.m. on Fridays as usual, and supervisors should approve by midnight.
- Student employees who are unable to complete their work remotely or who can not work for other reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) will still be compensated and should enter their previously/regularly scheduled times into Workday by 2:00 p.m. on Fridays as usual, and supervisors should approve by midnight.
- You can view the full policy and more details here (login required), and feel free to reach out to the Student Employment team at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Supporting Students: Early Alert System
If you are concerned about a student's personal or academic wellbeing, please submit an Early Alert (login required) to notify the Early Alerts team to ensure that the student receives the appropriate support. This system continues to operate even though students are learning remotely for the rest of the semester.
Starting March 25, Mail Services will operate with limited staff until further notice. As such, faculty, staff, and student mail services will be modified. Please follow the following guidelines to help us through this transition:
- Use electronic mail for all business correspondence, and encourage your contacts to not send physical mail via the U.S. postal service or other carriers.
- Change all your subscriptions and correspondence to the paperless option.
- Only essential packages, with a product that is needed immediately, should be shipped to the Berklee campus.