EDD Workforce Service Branch Public Counter Reopening Meeting Update
Earlier this week, our Union team held our first discussion with EDD regarding their plan to reopen the public counters for customer appointments at many Workforce Services Branch (WSB) offices statewide. This meeting was an opportunity to address specific concerns that our members have brought up about returning to in-person service.
Our members’ major concerns regarding a return to in-person service are safety-related – both in terms of COVID protection and safety, and security concerns related to agitated or disgruntled clients who could show up to the offices once they are open. Consideration of the unique needs and demographics of each worksite is also very important to our members.
We were pleased to hear that the department is taking our concerns seriously as they finalize the plans for in-person service.
EDD is currently aiming to begin in-person services as of May 17, however they noted that if any worksite is not fully equipped and ready by that date, the department will not offer in-person services at that office until it is safe. Our team felt that showed the department was committed to ensuring that safety is a priority when reopening.
We learned that decisions about which worksites to offer in-person services will consider the availability of security at the worksites, a sign that the department recognizes the seriousness of the safety concerns experienced by our members.
The department also recognized the importance of considering the specific layout, demographics, and needs of each worksite. In addition to the statewide guidance, each worksite is also working on site-specific safety guidance.
While we were encouraged by this discussion, there is still more work to be done by the department to get offices ready for in-person service. Our team is scheduled to meet again with the department before the reopening target date. Our plan is to keep the conversation open on this roll-out even after in-person services are resumed.
Our team wants to make sure that the discussions with the department, keep our member concerns at the forefront. You are encouraged to stay in contact with your stewards or email your concerns to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com