United Public Employees.
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UPE News Item

DHA SGM & GALT Onsite Voting

DHA Dismissive about some Health & Safety Measures Refusing to Meet

DHA recently notified UPE that the Voter Registration Office will be utilizing DHA facilities at both DHA Susie Gaines Mitchell and at DHA Galt Bureaus, for the upcoming election (10/24-11/03).

UPE went into action and asked how the operation will be conducted. DHA officials stated that members of the public (non-poll workers) will have access only to the community rooms at both sites but will not have access to the restrooms, breakrooms, or any other part of the facility.

Hallways and restrooms will not be open to the public.

Poll staff will have access to the community rooms and bathrooms that are closest to the community rooms. What is not clear are the break room and kitchen closest to the community room at DHA SGM (we will get to that later).

UPE is deeply concerned for the health and safety of all of our members. Our concerns range from the increased exposure to members of the public, especially when COVID-19 infections are increasingly on the rise. In addition, we are expecting a large voter turnout. This could result in a hot spot, impacting employees at both locations. When planning COVID-19 mitigation through a preventative lens, one must look at placing additional safety barriers, equipment, and enforcement. If not, the possibility of infection increases. County staff then could unknowingly become infected while having access to the facility, thus impacting employees.

As a result, UPE formally requested to meet and confer over the impacts. The County refused to meet and confer over the safety impacts, claiming that this is a non-meet and confer issue, and that they will be taking preventative measures to keep our staff safe. UPE stated that safety is a term of employment and, under the MMBA, they must meet and confer. They refused to meet and therefore, UPE will be filing an Unfair Labor Practice Charge.

Before we end, below is yet another example of DHA leadership sending contradicting messages.

When asked if the County can place a barrier on the kitchen and breakroom areas to prevent people from walking in and using the area, one DHA administrator stated, “ I do want to point out that they didn’t request access to the break rooms, and we don’t anticipate them using them, however we are not going to kick them out if we see someone in there.” While another DHA administer stated, “we have confirmed…….that they will not be using the breakrooms in any of the locations.”

As you can see, both DHA Administrators contradicted one another. Not a surprise.

If you happen to see safety issues and or concerns on site, please contact your Union Steward and or Business Agent. 

 

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