This writing is to provide some information pertaining to the Covid19 situation and what the Union is doing to protect the workforce from continued exposure. This is completely unchartered territory and everyone is working around the clock to get plans enacted quickly to shut the state down as completely as possible. We agree that department’s waiting any longer to take action is irresponsible.
Your Union leadership has been on calls with every department as well as the Governor’s office addressing your concerns for over a week now. The Governor has ordered all State departments to put a work from home plan in place by the end of today to minimize the number of employees who would be required to report to their work locations. We are also reviewing lists that identify those employees deemed essential and those who have the ability to work from a remote location. We are trying to maximize those numbers. Many of you have had to complete forms identifying your ability to do this with state issued equipment or personal equipment that has the capability to log into the State’s portals. If the department determines you do not have the capability or there is no need to work from home, and you have not been designated essential, you will be permitted to stay home and will be paid for the time you are out of work. This should all be in place and in effect by Wednesday.
For those who have compromised immune systems or other medical conditions that place you at a higher risk, we encourage you to stay home and use your sick time. If you have the ability to secure a doctor’s note, you should provide it to your department’s Human Resource office with a copy to your Union Local. We will address the use of leave time once this situation subsides.
These are scary times and we are all feeling the pressure of how to best protect ourselves. We also understand that “we’re working on it” is growing old, but we are seriously working on this non-stop. It may become necessary to mobilize our efforts to put significant pressure on the administration so be on the lookout for additional information.
We urge you to make decisions based on what is best for you and your family. The main goal here is to minimize the spread and impact of this virus, keep as many people healthy as possible, and return to life as we once knew it.