COVID-19 Health and Safety Grievance Update
With COVID-19 statewide infection rates rising dramatically and CDCR struggling to prevent prison-to-prison transfer, SEIU Local 1000 members continue to face the daily challenge of staying safe on the job. While CDCR has learned from earlier outbreaks, more needs to be done to increase physical distancing and to protect employees from potential COVID-19 exposure.
CDCR has recently taken steps to increase the enforcement of facial coverings, bolster entrance screening, and create a new employee health nurse program. Unfortunately, these efforts have not always been smooth, carefully implemented, or consistent. However, SEIU Local 1000 has been there to quickly outline concerns and ideas institution by institution to protect our members. All workers should also be aware that we’re starting to see enforcement has included disciplinary actions for those who are not in compliance.
We encourage our CDCR members to continue to share their concerns with our stewards at each prison and by contacting our Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348). In the interim, we will persist in pushing for better and more consistent protections and arguing for ongoing telework assignments where there is an increased COVID-19 vulnerability or a need to care for children who are distance learning.
While discussing a possible resolution of the statewide health and safety grievance, we successfully addressed serious issues with COVID-19 responses unresolved at the local levels with CDCR/CCHCS and CalHR. The strength of our stewards and member leaders has been critical during this time, and their resiliency has led the Union’s effort to improve conditions for everyone. Our stewards have organized and pushed back on management to enforce our contract and the rules surrounding health and safety. In addition, we have been able to demand better sanitation at various institutions and to raise other urgent health and safety concerns regarding possible exposures and inmate isolating.