(CCHCS) Employee Health Team (EHT)
Update from October 13, 2020


On October 13, 2020, our Union met with California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) to continue discussing the formation and implementation of an Employee Health Team (EHT) at each institution throughout the state.

Some of the major details from the meet and confer include:

  • CCHCS was asked to explain the overtime process and availability for members of the EHT teams. 
    • CCHCS responded. Overtime would only be available as needed as a member of the EHT team. This was clearly messaged to interested employees before and during selection. EHT employees cannot work overtime as they once did. If an EHT member works overtime, it is only in performing EHT related tasks.
  • CCHCS was asked about adding additional classifications to the EHT team program.
    • CCHCS responded. The department is in the process of getting LVNs approved to be a part of the EHT team to conduct COVID-19 testing for employees.
    • The department also explained the LVN positions have not been finalized yet even. though postings have been published because the HR departments have been proactive.
    • Once approved, LVN selection would be conducted via an interview process.  
  • CCHCS was asked about the schedules for the EHT teams.
    • CCHCS responded. A 4×10’s schedule was selected for RNs as a recruitment tool and to maintain a continuity of care and provide the most coverage across 1st, 2nd, and 3rd watch.
  • CCHCS was asked to explain how cross-coverage would work for EHT teams.
    • CCHCS responded. Generally, EHT team tasks are general enough that all team members could do parts of each other’s jobs without violating scope of practice.
    • CCHCS also stated the Sharepoint system will be integrated at the statewide level so an EHT team member at one institution could login and cover the work of another EHT team at a separate institution.
  • Our Union raised concerns regarding the use of Medical Assistants, MA licensure, and physician oversight.
    • CCHCS responded. The occupational health doctor at the regional office is giving authorization to MAs to work under their scope and under the RN’s direction.
  • Our Union also raised work space concerns as it relates to social distancing protocols and maintaining data privacy.
    • CCHCS acknowledged that addressing these concerns is an ongoing process as each institution has space limitations, but they are working on providing solutions.
    • CCHCS also stated they have or will provide headsets for EHT team members to hold telephonic conversations with in an effort to maintain confidentiality.  
  • CCHCS was asked to explain the role of the Public Health Nurse (PHN) and the interplay between the PHN and the EHT team.
    • CCHCS responded that the PHN’s main function is to respond to inmate-related health issues, including infectious diseases. If during that work, an inmate has had contact with an employee, the PHN would then work with the EHT team to identify and assist with contact tracing and case investigations for the employee(s) impacted.

During this meeting, the Union team strongly expressed ongoing concerns with the speed of which this new program has been implemented and the overall lack of clarity that CCHCS has provided. Our Union clearly conveyed concerns and ideas for the department to strongly consider in regards to maintaining social distancing and measures to ensure confidentiality, scope of practice concerns, overtime, and additional classifications being attached to the EHT teams, amongst other things. As such, due to the ever-changing nature of this program in such a short amount of time, we could not yet come to a complete understanding during this meeting. Our Union requested additional meetings to continue to address questions and concerns we were not able to discuss. 

If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to your bargaining unit via email at either unit1@seiu1000.orgunit17@seiu1000.org, or unit20@seiu1000.org, by Monday, November 2, 2020.