COVID-19 CDCR Health & Safety Grievance


Our Union filed a statewide health and safety grievance against CDCR and CCHCS on July 28, 2020. CDCR and CCHCS provided a timely joint response to our grievance on August 10, 2020. You can read management’s response here. CDCR and CCHCS failed to recognize serious issues with their enforcement of health and safety guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. Instead, they responded by claiming our Union did not provide specific information to substantiate our claims.

Nonetheless, CDCR and CCHCS concluded that they are neither granting nor denying our requested remedies, “As the Department is currently practicing all of the requested remedies.” Our grievance requested the following remedies:

  • Take all necessary steps to ensure employee health and safety
  • Ensure that each institution has a COVID-19 incident command center with both medical and custody staff
  • Have a clear written plan for spaces/areas that will be utilized to isolate/quarantine suspected and COVID-19 confirmed inmates at each institution
  • Ensure that management at all levels understands their responsibilities and role in preventing the further spread of COVID-19
  • Halt the movement of inmates between prisons and intakes from counties
  • Ensure that DAI and CCHCS are doing everything possible to maintain six feet of physical distance between persons (including allowing all employees possible to telework), providing adequate hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, and are enforcing that everyone wear masks/or face coverings
  • Ensure that all employees are trained with the latest State of California health and safety guidelines and that all employees are noticed about possible COVID-19 exposure at their worksite
  • Any other appropriate remedy deemed just and proper

Following the expedited timelines for health and safety grievances, on August 15, 2020, our Union elevated the grievance to the 3rd level with CalHR for possible resolution. You can read our grievance elevation here. We provided concrete examples from around the State to demonstrate that not all of the above outlined actions are being implemented and that more must be done to ensure a consistent implementation of these health and safety guidelines and other protocols around inmate movement, PPE, sanitation, physical distancing, and testing to prevent the further spread of the virus.

CalHR must now respond within fourteen (14) days. 

Please continue reporting health and safety violations to your supervisors so that they can be promptly addressed. If you need additional assistance, please contact your area steward or our Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).