Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer called our needs as front-line County employees “unreasonable,” at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, when we asked Supervisors for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hazard pay and improved worker safety.
In CAO Robbins-Meyer’s April 17 email to us, she acknowledged, “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed the way we do business as a County, it’s had a great impact on County employees and their families.” What she did not mention in her email was how the County’s lack of adequate response to this pandemic has endangered employees and our families, including those who have already tested positive for COVID-19.
CAO Robbins-Meyer must do what is right. The County is proud of its $2 billion in reserves, which were built on years of underinvestment in staff and services. It’s time to spend these reserves during this time of unprecedented crisis.
Take these steps now:
We need hazard pay, proper protective equipment, support for telecommuting options and paid leave that doesn’t drain our accruals. Instead of relying on pleas for charity, we should have the dignity of knowing that stepping up during this crisis and keeping our communities safe is being recognized by the County that we work for.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 gives workers the right to file a complaint about workplace safety and health hazards. Employers are required to take steps to protect workers exposed to infectious disease like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There are many valid reasons to file complaints, including lack of necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you believe that your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthy, please fill out this form so that SEIU Local 221 may file a complaint with Cal/OSHA on your behalf.
Important Information for Healthcare and Detentions Employees:
The California Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) Standard requires that healthcare workers wear an N95 or other NIOSH approved respirator when caring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. The ATD standard applies to healthcare workers and workers in some other work environments such as detention facilities. Please note whether you work in one of these environments and whether you have access to an N95 respirator.
Important Information for All Complainants:
The name of any person who submits a complaint to Cal/OSHA must be kept confidential by law, unless the person requests otherwise. Any personal identifying name or contact information given will not be provided to Cal/OSHA without your consent. A union representative may contact you if there is additional information needed to process your complaint.
We won’t back down from the fight to make employers #ProtectAllWorkers. No matter where you work or what your profession is, you have a right to be safe on the job. At the County of San Diego, that means speaking out for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hazard Pay, and other safety standards.
At our recent “speak out” event, a diverse group of County employees gave testimony about the dangerous realities of working without adequate PPE.
Unfortunately, County Executives have dismissed comprehensive health and safety proposals, telling the public that your needs as employees are not “reasonable.”
We didn’t want to have to make this fight public, but the public has a right to know that the County is failing to adequately invest in the COVID-19 response.
Be a part of keeping this momentum going. Now is the time to join fellow County employees by posting your picture holding a sign to social media.
Make sure to tag @SEIU221 and use these hashtags:
Share this recently released report about the lack of adequate PPE for front-line County staff with your coworkers: “On the Front Lines without Armor.”
The failure of County executives to protect employees is unacceptable. As our union President David Garcias recently told the media, “We will not stop advocating until every single front-line worker has the resources and support they need.”
Just days after your union released a report about how few front-line County staff have access to necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), County Executives sent a one-page letter dismissing our comprehensive health and safety demands. Despite claiming to bargain, the County has refused to address SEIU’s proposals on PPE and hazard pay, nor have they responded with any written proposals of their own.
It’s time to send a strong message to the County Executives: We will not back down from protecting the health of front-line workers and the communities we serve. The County’s inaction is disturbing and it is putting even more lives at risk.
Non-county SEIU members are also welcome to attend and show solidarity. Let’s make sure that the County hears our united voices on Wednesday. We are stronger together.
SEIU is providing Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) an important opportunity to “Learn about How California’s Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) Standard Protects Us from the Novel COVID-19 Virus.”
Saturday April 18
Two times available: 10 to 12:30 p.m. OR 1:30 to 4 p.m.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Indicate which time slot, provide your personal cell and RN/LVN license number if applicable to receive a Zoom invite with class materials.
Two Continuing Education Units are available to all licensed nurses. The course is free, but registration is required to reserve your space.
This training provides the tools we need to enforce the ATD standard on the front-lines where it matters most. The ATD standard is now more important than ever given the results of the survey showing the County of San Diego is failing to follow the ATD standard.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the survey and the courageous nurses who are speaking out for the tools to do our work as safely and effectively as possible.
Front-line staff also turned in more than 900 petitions demanding that the County #ProtectAllWorkers at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, follow this link to sign it now.
Finally, if you haven’t already, take this survey and tell your union whether you have the Personal Protective Equipment you need to do your job safely.
Classes and resources like these are a benefit of having a union job, and union membership allows us to provide them for free or at low cost. If you’re not a member, become a member today by following this link.
Court employees demanded Imperial County Superior Court balance justice with protecting the health and safety of courthouse employees, jurors, inmates and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Court signed an agreement to have rotating, minimum staffing in each department. Those not required at work will be on paid leave at home.
This will limit the number of people and their potential exposure, but keep vital services available.
If the form does not load or is too small to read, follow this link for a full screen version https://act.seiu.org/onlineactions/HQjYSTAvk0Si4UY1cAs3Vw2
Coronavirus is drastically changing all of our lives. SEIU 221 is fighting to ensure you and your families are protected during these times. Knowledge of your rights is key to protecting you and your loved ones from the effects of the coronavirus. Listed below is important information on your rights. If you have any questions or concerns please contact SEIU at (858) 560-0151.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
FFCRA creates two new paid leave programs:
(100% pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total)
(2/3 pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total)
(Up to 12 weeks paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 pay, up to $200 daily and $12,000 total)
Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA.
For additional information, or should you have questions, please contact Union Attorneys Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP., at (619) 296-5884.