Effective Saturday, March 21 at Midnight, all non-essential employees of Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) will be working remotely in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is no higher priority for NPU than the health and safety of our customers and employees,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager of NPU. “As part of our Business Continuity Plan, we have taken a number of steps to assure that our employees are safe and our customers continue to receive reliable utility services from us.”
As part of its adjustments, NPU is providing the following update:
- There is no change to or impact on the NPU emergency response capability; all field personnel are on call to respond to any utility emergency. All response crews are segregated to minimize personal interactions.
- The NPU Leadership Team has been meeting each morning over the past two weeks to review, discuss and plan for all issues that are or could be impacted by the pandemic with a focus on continuing to meet the needs of customers.
- Every facet of NPU – utility operations, finance, IT, Human Resources, customer service, communications, purchasing, safety, etc., have been taken into consideration.
- Starting next week, NPU’s Leadership team will be meeting by phone and web- conference each morning; our managers will be interacting by email and phone with each of their people every day.
- NPU has a team maintaining communication with our large commercial and industrial customers and will respond to any issues or concerns as we would in ordinary circumstances.
- NPU has negotiated Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) with all three bargaining units – AFSCME, IBEW, Steelworkers on flexible scheduling and other considerations. Each union is completely committed to doing whatever is necessary to get NPU through these difficult times.
- NPU’s Control Room, water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plants will be minimally staffed; enhanced protocols for cleaning the facilities and reducing interactions between staff have been implemented.
- NPU’s Field Service Technicians are reading meters remotely to avoid entering any customer homes.
- NPU will continue to process mail and payments and receiving critical deliveries.
- NPU’s Customer Service staff is can perform all their routine duties remotely with no disruption to any service or customer communications.