April 1, 2020
Positive COVID-19 Test For Member at Sylmar

Late yesterday evening and followed up this morning, the Probation Department notified your Local 685 leadership regarding our fellow member who tested positive for COVID-19 out of Sylmar. Even as the Department was updating their information to us, your Executive Board was getting vital information from Institutions Vice President Eric Walton and many of you. 

VP Walton was on-site early this morning at Sylmar and participated in an 11 a.m. conference call with the Department where we discussed this critical issue. One of our members working in Unit L/M on Friday experienced symptoms over the weekend, was tested, and unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. 

Local 685 members were diligent and assisted in closing down the unit and moving the receiving function to the Medical module. There were 21 minors in the unit and five assigned staff. All are subject to quarantine based upon their exposure. 
In our conference call with the Probation Department today, we advised them of at least one other possible staff exposure to make sure that all precautions are being taken. The Unit is being deep cleaned by an outside contractor today under the direction of the County’s Public Health Officer.

The Public Health Office is conducting a contacts check going back to Friday of last week to identify any person who may have had contact with staff and then must be monitored and possibly quarantined. Your Local 685 leadership has been, and will continue be, in constant communication with the Department for the sole purpose of advocating for your safety.

Click here to read the LA Times story.
General Membership & Stewards Meetings Canceled for Month of April

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and orders from local, state, and federal officials, the Local 685 General Membership and Stewards Meetings are canceled for the month of April 2020.

Please stay safe and healthy in these difficult times!
COVID-19 Resources

This page is a resource for Local 685 members to have access to official memos from the County regarding COVID-19's impact on County operations and County employees. Please check here routinely for the latest update from the County and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Click here and visit daily!
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
  • Overtime
  • 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.

In solidarity,

Hans Liang

AFSCME Local 685