March 27: Coronavirus Update for HUCTW Members

Dear HUCTW Members,

We wanted to update you on what HUCTW leaders are doing to support members at this time, as well as answer some of the questions we have received from you in recent days.

HUCTW leaders are meeting with Harvard administrators by videoconference every week to discuss broad member priorities and concerns around the Coronavirus. University representatives have been responsive and engaged in these conversations.

HUCTW leaders’ emphasis in these weekly meetings is on the following:

  • HUCTW members should continue to receive their full pay and benefits, even if they are unable to work due to Harvard closures or public health decisions.
  • HUCTW members’ jobs should be secure.
  • HUCTW members should have enough sick time or other paid time to care for themselves and their family members, especially in light of Governor Baker’s recent announcement that Massachusetts schools will be closed until May 4.

Although there are still significant unknowns about how long and in what ways the Coronavirus pandemic will affect our community, the current health crisis is clearly an unprecedented situation. In light of this, we have encouraged Harvard to continue to take positive, unprecedented steps to protect the livelihoods of the University’s committed and hard-working staff members.

This is a time when HUCTW members and their local managers should feel empowered to work out creative and flexible arrangements for working from home, work hours, and job duties. If you have concerns about remote work arrangements in your department and would like to talk to an HUCTW organizer, please call or email your organizer directly, or the HUCTW office if you’re not sure who to contact.

Some related topics we’ve received questions about over the last few days:

  • Time Reporting Codes: The University has indicated that there are three primary time reporting codes in PeopleSoft that you should be using during this time: (1) Regular,  (2) Sick, and (3) Excused Absence – COVID19.  However, there seems to be some variation among Harvard units in advice about how to apply the codes – with some providing more flexibility than others. Please reach out to your HUCTW Organizer if you have concerns about how they are being applied in your department.
  • Parking Refunds/Credits: The Harvard Parking Services department is currently offering two refund or credit options for those whose commutes and daily driving routines have been disrupted by Coronavirus.  One requires you to take timely action and the other does not. You can read about these two options for the Cambridge and Allston locations here: and for questions regarding Harvard parking in the Longwood Medical Area (LMA), members should call 617-432-1111, as payment relief is also being implemented for Harvard LMA parkers.
  • MBTA and Other Commuter Passes Refunds/Credits: Local transit providers have announced that the cost of April 2020 transit passes, which were sent out the week of March 16, can be credited back when certain deadlines and/or mailing documentation by the user are met. Some of these options require you to take timely action, others do not. May 2020 passes that members do not expect to use must be cancelled by April 4 or charges will be automatically processed. Details on all refunds and credits can be found on the Commuter Choice website via this link:

Again, if you have any workplace questions or concerns that you need assistance with, please reach out to your HUCTW Organizer directly, or the HUCTW office if you’re not sure who to contact. All conversations are confidential.

HUCTW Organizer contact information:
General telephone: 617-661-8289, General email:

Thank you,