Rutgers

Rutgers faculty and staff, unable to work remotely, raise concerns with news of another coronavirus case on campus

By Ted Sherman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com and J. Dale Shoemaker | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Rutgers University sent most of its students home last week over mounting concerns about exposure to coronavirus.

But some faculty and university employees — unable, or not permitted to work remotely — question whether the state university is doing enough to protect them from potential exposure, after a medical student tested positive this week for coronavirus.

Many departments are having people come to work,” said Christine O’Connell, president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-American Federation of Teachers. “This is a huge place and a lot of it is very top down and small departments have a lot of authority.”

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O’Connell, though, said not everyone has been given the choice to work from home. She said decisions whether about telecommuting are being made inconsistently, and many of requests are being denied.

My greater concern is that Rutgers has directed staff to continue to come to work, putting staff members and their families at risk,” said O’Connell. “We have thousands of people who are being directed to report to work.”

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