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.