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UPE News Item

UPE Update: COVID-19 

3/20/20

Courts in Sacramento, Yuba, and Sutter Counties have all significantly reduced operations in light of recent directives from the Governor and County Health Officials.  These Courts are placing workers on Administrative Leave and providing additional pay to those that are required to come to work. UPE supports these actions and appreciates the steps these employers have taken to guard worker safety.

UPE also supports the actions taken by Sacramento County to close public access, send non-essential staff home on administrative leave, and allow workers to telecommute where possible.  However, Sacramento County continues to require workers in a number of Departments to come to their offices as essential governmental employees.  

Sacramento County are giving all workers 65 and over the option of paid administrative leave in order to comply with the Governor's order.  However, at this time the County is not offering the same option for workers with chronic health conditions that make them at higher risk to health complications due to COVID-19.  This is despite the fact the Governor's order calls on this population to stay home.  UPE strongly opposes this position and has repeatedly said so to County leaders.  The County must do all it can to protect the health of its workforce.  

Furthermore, County worksites are short on cleaning supplies like disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.  Workers are not being provided with clear explanations of why the County believes they are safe at their worksites. There is a disconnect between County and State directives to avoid groups of 10 or more and County worksites with hundreds of workers sharing a common space.  UPE calls for County Health Officials to assess the safety of each County worksite. 

UPE also proposed additional pay for essential workers required to work during the health emergency.  The County rejected this proposal as well.  No UPE worker came to the County believing they would be required to work during a global pandemic.  Yet, UPE workers are continuing to  fulfill their essential functions under the most extreme of circumstance, while placing their own health and the health of their families at risk to serve the public.  The County is not properly recognizing this work.    

UPE will continue to advocate for our workers during this crisis.  We continue close communication with the leaders of individual Departments and are working with management to get questions answered and issues addressed.  As changes take place please alert UPE to problems and possible solutions. If workers have questions or concerns please contact your Business Agent by email or call 916-736-9503. 

 

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