The severity of Typhoon Mangkhut in September 2018 took many by surprise. All classes were suspended and offices closed at CUHK the next day for sake of safety and for restoration of road passages and other necessary clearance work. The strenuous tasks were to be done by “emergency and maintenance personnel”, namely our EMO and other blue-collar staff, who had to come to work under chaotic conditions. As the typhoon season approaches, are we better equipped this year?
Quickly after the typhoon, members of CUEGU chipped in to offer fresh fruits and herbal tea vouchers to our EMO workers as tokens of thanks for their work. We subsequently made a follow-up visit to them around the Chinese New Year (including the EMO and colleagues of student halls) with gifts of homemade mosquito repellant and lip-balm. We also visited them with a mission of understanding their views on the arrangement of the post-typhoon clearance work and any compensation they received for the shift.
Of those we talked to, some were informed by their team heads that they had to work that day, some had to contact their team heads in order to find that out, while some just made their own guess and a few reported that they did not have to work that day. Simply put, there was no coordinated channel for announcement.
Some also reported that although the typhoon signal was lowered to no. 3 that day, they had to take taxi to work due to the closure of certain public transportation amidst the chaos. (Certain sections of the MTR, for example, were not running that day due to fallen trees.) They therefore hoped that the university would offer some subsidy for transportation.
Further, the workload was strenuous that day and the work involved considerable risk, especially due to the rush to speed up the clearance. Many of them reported significant overworking. They therefore opined that it would have been fairer if the university had offered more than one day of compensational leave or if they were compensated by overwork pay.
CUEGU raised this issue in our meeting with the university in December. The management admitted that as the typhoon was unprecedented, the arrangements were contingent and ad-hoc, thus might not be up to standard. They agreed with the need to learn from experience and make a more comprehensive plan for similar situations in future. However, as of now, with a new typhoon season starting, the university has yet to announce any new procedures or plan. We urge the university to make this a priority.
An accident to an employee resulting in injury or death is deemed to arise
out of and in the course of employment if it happens to the employee when
he is travelling from his place of residence to his place of work by a
direct route within a period of four hours before the time of commencement
of his working hours for that day, or from his place of work to his place
of residence within a period of four hours after the time of cessation
of his working hours for that day, when T8 or above or a Red or Black Rainstorm
Warning is in force. Under these circumstances, the employer is liable
to pay compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance.
Take an employee whose working hours ended at 5:30 p.m. as an example. He met with an accident and sustained bodily injury at 7:00 p.m. when he was travelling back home from his workplace. T8 was in force at the time of the accident. Under the circumstances, the employer will be liable to pay compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance. (Excerpted from “Code of Practice in Times of Typhoons and Rainstorms” issued by Labour Department.)
A: No. Unlike T8, Black or Red Rainstorm Warning in force, you were not covered by employees’ compensation if you encountered accident and got injured on your way to work during T3.
A: Yes. In the regular work days, the compensation only applies to the mentioned accident if it happens to the employee who was travelling by means of transport being operated by or on behalf of his employer or by some other person pursuant to arrangements made with his employer, and other than as part of a public transport service.
(Thank you our student volunteer Miss Lai Ying Ying for contributing the
article, as presented below with slight modification.)
In the evening of 16 September 2018, the University had announced class suspension and all offices closed for Monday September 17 because of Typhoon Mangkhut. A group of frontline colleagues had reported for duty on September 17 despite the disastrous damage of the super typhoon to provide urgent maintenance services on campus, allowing classes and offices to resume on September 18. CUEGU and The Grassroot Concern Group had launched a Thank You Campaign to deliver fresh fruits and herbal tea vouchers at different points of the campus and to salute to these colleagues.
On the first day of the campaign, we were slightly later than the scheduled time when arrived at the Chung Chi Canteen with our trolley of fresh fruits, as some colleagues had already finished their lunch and left the canteen. We immediately decided to split-up and reached out as many colleagues as we could over the Chung Chi campus. With the first day experience, we changed our strategy on the second day to meet colleagues at their resting area apart from the canteen. The campaign was nicely rounded-up on day 3 with our delivering of fresh fruits outside the canteen to the frontline colleagues passing-by.
Do you know how were the maintenance and repairing made possible? When T8 was still hoisted on September 17, the supervisors made an inspection on the seriousness of the damages on different regions of campus. With the suspension of most public transportation, many of the frontline colleagues returned to campus by taxi at their own cost, and even walked to the campus from their home for those who lived around Shatin and Fo Tan regions. Apart from the massive fallen trees, there were uncountable broken and fallen windows, and damages to the aged facilities which could not withstand the power of the typhoon. The ironsmiths received a flood of orders and worked in full turbo. Flooding happened in some washrooms and needed urgent attention. Work rearrangement was made to clean-up roads so that staff and students could smoothly return to office and classes the day after.
We are proud of the human touch shared among the CU community. What we did was negligible when compared with the persistence of colleagues in restoring the campus back to normal, but still we hope to show our deep appreciation to colleagues via this small campaign. On a related issue, could the University take a step further apart from granting these colleagues a day-off, giving them more thoughtful consideration so that colleagues could feel being thanked and cared for their love to CU?
Donors of campaign (some names in Chinese only): Esther Ho, Ann Lau, Joyce Cheung, Dora Lam, Edith So, 陳亮, Cheung Chan Fai, Mentos,Yim Chi Shing, Ali Hui, Ivy Ling, Jessica Li, Dr. YANNIE Cheung, 陳建樂, 吳巧雲, Lo Kit Hung, Wong Kai Yee, 鄺梓桓, Esther Tsang, Cheung Kam Ching, 黃勇, Cheng Chung Yi, Lau Kwok Ying, Donna Chu, Eva Chan, Agnes Lam, 林穎芝, Emily Owen
Staff and Student Volunteers: Chen Pei Pei, Leo, Sabrina Yeung, Esther Ho, Kasey Hui, 李永麗, Tiffany Kwan同學, 幸冬梅、Eva Chan, Rebecca Tsui; 林心怡, 彭俊榮 (CUHK Grassroot Concern Group)
CUHK Voluntary Top-Up Medical Insurance Scheme for Hospital Care (VTP) is now reopen for in-service eligible CUHK staff. The University has recently sent a mass email to colleagues on the issue and details of the briefing session to be held on June 6 (CUEGU has reflected to the University the need of extra sessions because of overwhelming response and the University has re-run the session in the afternoon of June 6). Apart from the Top-Up Medical Insurance Scheme, the briefing session also covers other University’s staff medical benefits. Colleagues can also join the briefing session online. Please email to email@example.com you want to raise questions and colleagues of the Human Resource Office will present the questions to the speakers. The presentation materials and the video recording of the briefing session will soon be uploaded to the Finance Office’s website ( https://www.cuhk.edu.hk/fno/stf/eng/psu_topup.html) for colleagues’ information afterwards.
The self-paid scheme helps to defray part of the actual in-patient treatment expenses that exceed reimbursable limits under the University’s Staff Medical Benefits Schemes (“SMBS”) for eligible CUHK staff at Terms of Service A and B, who can join the VTP on voluntary basis. VTP covers pre-existing medical conditions provided that SMBS members apply, including eligible family members (spouse below 85 and children below 21 years old), within 60 days after becoming eligible for private class hospital benefits. The Insurer has exceptionally offers for re-opening VTP in this instance to eligible SMBS members who have previously missed the enrolment deadline for VTP, subject to the exclusion of pre-existing medical conditions as set out in the scheme rules.
Founded in 2004, CUEGU missions to protect the legitimate rights of CUHK employees so that colleagues can work under a fair and just environment. CUEGU is an affiliate of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union (HKCTU) and is supported by the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union (HKPTU). CUEGU members can enjoy the benefits provided by both HKCTU and HKPTU.
Date: 13-14, 18-19 June 2019
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Venue: University Station Piazza
* New members / On-site renewal / Renewed members (with the "Reply Slip" of your renewal letter) can receive a gift as a token of thanks while stock lasts.
** Member who refers a colleague to join CUEGU, or changes to use autopay for the annual membership fee will receive an extra gift in our Recruitment Roadshow.
Renewal gift this year:
Instructor: Teny Yau
Venue: Rm 103, Wong Foo Yuan Building, Chung Chi Campus
Time: 7:00–9:00 pm
Quota: 12 ppl / class
Fee: $340 (Member and Family)
Conducted in Cantonese
Registration Form (in Chinese)
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
The mass democratic movements by students, workers and citizens 30 years
ago is still today the fundamental political taboo in China. The regime
is trying to erase the movements and massacre from history while those
who try to remember and those who try to live the spirit are relentlessly
prosecuted and repressed.
June 4 and its memories have been the political awakening for generations of us in Hong Kong. They stand at the core of our pursuit of democracy and justice. CUEGU urges our members and colleagues to take our place again in this year’s candlelight vigil – the memories must not be wiped out.
As the regime tightens its control, Hong Kong has come to a critical point in history. The government-proposed controversial extradition bill is bound to threaten the Hong Kong legal system, our personal safety and liberty. State-controlled press in Hong Kong has already cited “party authority” saying that Hong Kong citizens “threatening national security” can be extradited for hearing and sentencing in a mainland Chinese court. It does not take much imagination to see how commemorating June 4, seeking a re-evaluation of the movements, can become an act of subversion of state power; how a call for democracy can be prosecuted for attempted sedition of the country. If the bill is passed, the communist regime will be able to name our crime as they wish.
Let’s demonstrate and assert our precious rights of freedom of expression by joining the coming march on June 9:
2:30pm, June 9 (Sun)
Start of march: Victoria Park Lawn, Causeway Bay, towards Tim Mei Avenue
With solidarity and courage, we have successfully deterred the legislation of Article 23 and the introduction of the National Education curriculum in the past. It has been your participation that has saved Hong Kong from even more deterioration. We shall not give up the fight.
Among others, the Progressive Teachers’ Alliance, Scholars’ Alliance for Academic Freedom, HKEd4All, Progressive Scholars Group and HK Education Concern Group have also initiated a petition against the bill. We call for your participation:
There is also another petition initiated by concern group on labour:
The miracle is for us to make. With our collective strength, we can stop the bill.
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