Feb. 14, 2019
CWU Emergency Closure, Suspended Operations FAQs
CWU employees and students need to be ready for hazardous weather anytime from about November through March. An important part of that is knowing how closure and delay information about inclement weather is shared and how it affects employees.
It is exceptionally rare that the Ellensburg campus institutes a campus closure. However, when CWU’s incident management team and administrators determine that the campus is not safe, or when local conditions are extremely severe around campus, CWU can choose from three types of closures:
Delayed opening: Classes and events are canceled and all nonessential administrative and academic activities are suspended at the Ellensburg campus until a designated opening time.
Early closure: Classes and events are canceled and all nonessential administrative and academic activities are suspended at the Ellensburg campus at a designated closing time.
Full closure: All classes and events are canceled and all university offices and departments are closed except for essential personnel.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions:
Q: Where do I find official emergency and closure information?
- CWU Alert! -- email, text, and voicemail push notifications. CWU has opted-in all students and employees using the contact information found in MyCWU.
- CWU Website Ticker – a specialized message will appear on the CWU home page.
- CWU Emergency Updates web page
- CWU Twitter
- CWU Facebook
- CWU snow phone line at (509) 963-2345 or 866-419-8512 (toll free) - verify if classes have been delayed or campus has closed.
- Personal notification by your supervisor or other personnel in the supervisory chain
- Written internal communication (if closure is known in advance)
Q: How do I know if I am designated as essential personnel?
Check with your supervisor.
I am a Civil Service Employee. . .
Q: When the University closes and I do not report to work, do I still get paid?
As a Civil Service employee, you are allowed to use paid time (compensatory time, vacation/annual leave or personal holiday (full day increment)) or leave without pay to cover the absence. Accrued comp time must be used before other types of paid leave. If vacation leave and personal holiday are exhausted, you may use sick leave.
Q: If the University closes after I have already worked and then I am sent home as a result of the University closure, what time do I report?
Example, if you worked two hours (8-hour schedule) before being sent home, you would report two hours of worked time and six hours of either paid time (comp time, vacation/annual leave) or leave without pay. Accrued comp time must be used before other types of paid leave. If vacation leave and personal holiday are exhausted, you may use sick leave. If you are WFSE represented, please review the collective bargaining agreement.
Q: If I come to work but am not allowed to work and am sent home, do I get paid?
Employees who did not receive prior notification of suspended operations and reported to work will receive two (2) hours pay. The remaining hours of your regular work schedule are to be reported as paid leave (comp time, vacation/annual leave) or leave without pay to cover the absence. Accrued comp time must be used before other types of paid leave.
Q: What if I work my shift even though the university is closed, do I get special pay?
No. An employee who works during the closure receives his or her regular rate of pay for work performed during the period of suspended operations. If you are not essential personnel, please ensure you are authorized to work by your supervisor.
Q: What if I spent some time working from home during the closure? Is it permissible for me to report this as time worked?
With permission from your supervisor prior to working from home, you may report this as work time.
Q: May I use accrued compensatory time to cover a university closure?
With permission of your supervisor, you may use accrued compensatory time to cover your absence. Accrued comp time must be used before other types of paid leave.
I am an Exempt Employee. . .
Q: When the university closes and I do not report to work, do I still get paid?
Yes, if you submit paid leave. Exempt employees are allowed to use annual leave or personal holiday to cover the closure. If vacation leave and personal holiday are exhausted, you may use sick leave. Exempt employees may also work with their supervisor to reschedule work time lost as a result of suspended operation.
Please address additional questions or concerns to your HR Partner, or call HR at 963-1202.
Contact Payroll Services at 963-2221 for questions regarding time and absence entries.
CWU suggests several tools employees and students can use to be aware, prepared, and resilient in hazardous weather:
- CWU Alert!: All students and employees are automatically enrolled in the system using contact information found in MyCWU. Verify that your information is current.
- CWU policy on emergency closure and suspending operations
- Winter tips: The right preparation, clothing, footwear and even tactics can be the difference between safety and serious injuries.
- Winter driving tips and resources from CWU Emergency Management, Washington Department of Transportation and National Weather Service
Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484, Dawn.Alford@cwu.edu.