Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Governor Newsom’s Safe at Home Orders are allowing a gradual approach to re-opening the California economy and businesses are bracing for the “New Normal” under the guidelines and safety protocols of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, as well as national safety and health guidelines issued by the CDC.
Under the Governor’s revised Safe at Home Orders, the Board of Supervisors and State Courts are authorized to move forward
with re-opening and providing critical County public services
, subject to meeting state guidelines.
In this week’s joint labor-management COVID-19 conference calls, Probation and DCFS management officials indicated that discussions are underway to start strategically thinking about and planning for a safe, gradual approach to County operations under the “New Normal.”
In this context, your Executive Board is pressing for a heightened level of communication, more open and robust dialog, and discussions regarding the how, and in what manner, the Departments will be resuming functions under a “New Normal.”
Together with line staff, the Probation Department has developed an excellent record of protecting juveniles in the institutions: No juvenile in the general Juvenile Hall or Probation Camp population has tested positive for COVID-19.
Following newly issued Public Health safety protocols and guidance, the Probation Department has implemented COVID-19 testing for all juveniles in Probation facilities. The testing will be completed by early next week. Testing result time protocol is 24-48 hours, and testing thus far has confirmed that all juveniles have tested negative.
As your Union, we are encouraging our Brothers and Sisters, as a safety precaution, to take advantage of voluntary testing to further protect yourself and your family. We also have requested the Probation Department provide a 24-hour test result center for Local 685 members.
As the Superior Courts are beginning to gradually re-open operations, Pre-Trial Services and juvenile and adult Court operations will begin planning to undertake their functions under safety protocols issued by the Department of Public Health. The Probation Department confirmed that it will have masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and other personal protective gear in place before re-assignments begin.
The Local 685 Executive Board and Department management will continue our partnership approach and collaborate in weekly conference calls and in established communication avenues. By this approach, we are pressing the Departments to provide us prior notice before making decisions to implement operational changes that may impact deployments, work schedules, staffing, or other conditions of employment.
Local 685 will be making recommendations to both Probation and DCFS to ensure that it is safe for members to return to work under the “new normal” to maintain critical operations and services.
Our work as Peace Officers and First Line Responders is not over – as there will be many challenges ahead as the economy is re-opened and the Board of Supervisors moves forward to ensure that both Probation and DCFS services continue to be provided for the residents of L.A. County.
I commend each and every one of you on a job well done, and let’s continue our efforts to beat COVID-19.