DHCS Telework Meet and Confer
On July 27, 2021, SEIU Local 1000 meet with Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) about their permanent telework policy. DHCS stated that they will be moving from the emergency policy to a permanent telework policy at the end of August 2021.
DHCS indicated that this is a long-term policy that is looking beyond COVID-19. We understand DHCS’ enthusiasm to implement this permanent policy, but with our concerns regarding transitioning from full-time telework to a hybrid plan during a surge in variant cases, this policy needed to be reassessed. The health and safety of the employees should be front and center when transitioning. We did establish that they are still looking at areas that may be impacted by the current CDC requirements and may extend the emergency telework policy beyond August 31, 2021.
We pushed DHCS to develop a more employee-friendly policy and not to leave it at the discretion of individual managers. While DHCS stated they are supportive and encouraging of telework in all divisions and units, they also confirmed it would be up to management to determine the specifics and applicability of telework.
We are not satisfied with that response and will leave the table open. We ended the meeting stating to DHCS that we will be monitoring the situation and will flag and follow up on situations where SEIU Local 1000 represented employees are being wrongly and unfairly denied telework opportunities, especially denials based on management preference.
When the new CalHR policy comes out, DHCS confirmed they will review and edit their permanent telework policy accordingly.
We will continue to monitor the situation. If you are denied telework or have any issues around the telework policy, contact the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).