COVID-19 Update for April 1, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Local 685 leadership has been meeting with DCFS and Probation Department management via routine conference calls to address issues arising out of the COVID-19 emergency orders from the State, County, and departments, and the impact of these orders on our membership. Today’s Probation Department conference call was moved up to 11 a.m. this morning due to the emergent situation out of Sylmar.
In addition to updating the Department with information from VP Eric Walton and many of you who have been communicating through the Executive Board, we also addressed the following ongoing issues from our prior meetings.
- Reassignments and staffing in the Juvenile Halls and Probation Camps
- Field Officers - work schedules/shift changes
- Deployment of at-risk employees
- Employees with medical conditions or restrictions
- Social Distancing
- Reporting information to the Probation Department
In the context of this COVID-19 pandemic, the Union’s position is that the safety and health of Local 685 bargaining unit members is paramount, and every safety precaution should be taken to ensure the safety of staff, as well as the juveniles in the institutions and probation camps. In our tele-meetings, we have stressed that members will be safe and protected from contracting or spreading the Coronavirus in the institutions and field offices.
As provided for in the Department of Public Health (DPH) guidance, please notify Local 685 immediately if you have any information that a minor in Probation or DCFS custody, or a co-worker, has tested positive, or if a staff person has worked in close proximity (6 feet) for at least 10 minutes to someone who has the virus.
DPH orders require an immediate quarantine for 14 days if you have tested positive or worked in close proximity to someone that has tested positive irrespective of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic. We have an ongoing duty to immediately report information relating to COVID-19 involving a juvenile or a staff person/employee to department management in order to protect the juvenile and our staff/members.
The Local 685 Executive Board, through routine conference calls with management, is working on a mechanism for members to collect and forward this information in real time, in an expedited format, to department managers and the Return to Work Unit that coordinates with the Department of Public Health, Health Services (JCHS), and the Chief Executive Office.
Your Union continues to advocate that members over age 65, as well as members with underlying medical conditions with medical documentation, should be assigned to telework or disaster services work in their communities. This segment of the County employee population is at a heightened level of risk exposure to contracting COVID-19 and suffering more deadly consequences to their immune or respiratory system. The Union has requested that the Probation Department provide statistical information so that we can have accurate numbers of employees in this high-risk category.
The Union Executive Board will continue to keep the membership informed, in real time, if the Department implements further emergency changes or provides information regarding the COVID-19 that impacts Local 685 members.
AFSCME Local 685