Member Story – Greg Dixon
Keeping coworkers safe while providing an essential service.
Our members continue to provide essential services across the state during challenging times, one of the most critical being the management of California’s water system.
“We’re providing reliable and safe delivery of water, the most precious resource known to humankind,” says Greg Dixon, a 17-year state employee working for the Department of Water Resources in Southern California.
Dixon is responsible for calibrating and maintaining the high-tech meters and recording devices that measure the raw water delivered by the state to large users, such as municipalities and metropolitan water districts.
And even though he’s on the road for a good portion of his day, the threat of the coronavirus is having an impact on his daily work.
“Most of our administrative staff is working from home, but the jobs operating and monitoring critical infrastructure like dams and other sites in the field are essential,” Greg says. “When working in pairs, we’re observing social distancing.”
“Many of the devices we service are in below-ground vaults. Safety guidelines dictate one person must act as an attendant and remain above ground in compliance with confined space procedures,” Dixon added. “That means we’re not able to work in tandem or provide much-needed training in those situations.”
Greg is a union steward who is using his representational skills to ensure safe working conditions. His area of influence includes three different DWR offices in the southern field division, which reaches from Pyramid Lake on the north to Perris Reservoir at the south.
“I’ve worked with DWR management to get wash stations outside our offices and to increase the supply of hand wipes, but we’re still in need of hand sanitizer,” says Dixon. “I continue to inform members of their rights as the COVID-19 policies continue to change, because it’s important to mitigate any adverse effects on co-workers—and family members—who may have underlying health risks.”