Workers Health & Safety During COVID-19 Outbreak
** Last Updated April 7, 2020 at 5:00PM **
Our priority is the health and safety of our members, students, patients, and families. As COVID-19 spreads rapidly, we’re working to ensure UC doesn’t pull any tricks that threaten your safety & future.
Know Your Rights:
We just won historic contracts for all of our members that include protections to front-line patient care and service workers health and safety on the job, including the right to refuse abnormally hazardous work assignments.
- Article 10–Health & Safety in your EX (PatientCare) Contract
- Article 11 – Health & Safety in your SX (Service) Contract
To learn more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. FAQ on COVID-19
Here’s what we’re fighting for:
On March 11th, 2020 we sent a letter to UC expressing our concern that Patient Care, Service, K7 & Hastings unit employees were reporting not having received the necessary preparation, orientation, training, or PPE to safely care for patients, or to safely provide front-line services, at medical centers and campuses across the system, in light of the imminent safety and health hazards posed by COVID-19. Below is a summary of our demands:
Follow the precautionary principle and continue to exceed CDC and Cal/OSHA standards and guidelines,
Provide AFSCME 3299 and all Patient Care and Service employees at medical centers and campuses with all relevant information and training,
Test all ‘rule-out’ patients for COVID-19 upon admission to hospitals,
Follow all Health & Safety, Hours of Work, Positions & Appointments, and Layoffs protections (among others) in our contracts,
Staff properly and refrain from using subcontractors to perform our work without providing them with paid sick leave, affordable health care benefits, and adequate COVID-19 preparedness training,
Cease and desist from any threats of retaliatory disciplinary action for “unauthorized” employees wearing PPE,
Include anti-discrimination protocols in the University’s response to COVID-19 in order to vigorously protect the rights of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) employees.
Provide a minimum of 14 days paid administrative leave for all employees quarantined and all employees directed not to come to work.
Paid Administrative Leave
On March 16th, UC announced it would expand its leave policy. Workers are now eligible for up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave for COVID-19 related illness for themselves or a family member; loss of hours due to campus/department closures; childcare due to school or daycare closure.
While we are happy to see that UC agreed to give 128 hours of Paid Administrative Leave to its employees, it is becoming clear this crisis will last longer than three weeks. We are demanding UC to extend paid administrative leave benefits to UC staff at least until Shelter-In-Place orders are lifted, and to make a system-wide change to its catastrophic leave policy to allow workers to donate sick and vacation hours and use for all COVID-19 related needs, including campus closures.
Job Security: Redeployment and No Layoffs
In an effort to ensure your job security and to meet the increased demand of the health system, we’re working with UC medical centers to redeploy campus workers. Yesterday, we reached an agreement with UCSF that includes voluntary redeployment assignment, reassignment incentives, Job Security, and Health & Safety training. We are in the process of working with other medical centers to follow the same standards. Stay tuned.
We sent a joint letter with other UC unions demanding no layoffs at UC during the COVID-19 crisis, and on April 2nd, the University issued a statement that it will not issue any layoffs through June 30th. While this is a great victory, we will continue to fight to secure pay and healthcare for our members.
The COVID-19 outbreak has touched every part of our every day life. The virus has impacted workers beyond the walls of UC. While we remain committed to protecting UC’s workers future, we’re also standing in solidarity with worker across California and the nation. Please explore our resources below for more information.
We will continue to keep you posted on the latest development. For more information on what you need to do if you believe UC has violated your rights, contact your MAT leader, organizers, or please continue to visit this page for updates.