Health Facilities Evaluator Nurses
Update from May 17, 2021


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On May 14, 2021, we met with John Tong (Labor Relations Specialist, CDPH) and Susan Espinoza (Deputy Director of Human Resources, CDPH) to discuss outstanding Health Facility Evaluator Nurse issues.

At the last meeting, we asked Management to delay implementation of the RSS app and terminate the program completely. They agreed to move back the implementation date to sometime in late summer or early fall depending on their ability to receive equipment. Management didn’t have an exact date for program rollout, but they refused to eliminate the program. We brought up the numerous issues including phones being too small, connectivity, duplicate work, texting on phones, taking notes while texting, issues with ASPEN, and how it would interfere with our current workload. Management agreed they want the roll-out to be at a good time and not create more work for HFENs. They said they want it to go smoothly and hope to work out the issues. They agreed to provide tablets or IPads for employees because they agree the phones are too small. However, they couldn’t buy equipment now because it is near the end of the business year. They believe we can start the RSS program at home or at the District Office (DO) using the Wi-Fi from your phone, and then we can work on it at the facility afterwards offline. We clarified that it does not work offline. We recommended that someone from headquarters go out to the facilities with someone from the pilot project to see how it doesn’t work.

Management agreed there is a recruitment and retention problem. They stated the current statewide vacancy rate is 9.6%. It was at 12.5% in January. However, they admitted there has been an increase in retirements due to COVID. We argued that some District Offices, like San Francisco, have higher vacancies than others. Management agreed the East Bay, San Diego, and Santa Rosa District Offices have high vacancy rates. The Fresno DO used to be fully staffed but now has a high vacancy rate as well. We asked for a breakdown of the vacancy rate for each District Office. Workforce section employees, such as Candy Linnell, have been trying to help recruitment through job fairs, on Linked-In, and in other ways. We emphasized that CDPH doesn’t pay enough money to HFENs and supervisors to recruit and retain them.

Susan stated it is not mandatory for HFENs to have their work phones on during off-hours. However, they ask that HFENs would have their phones on in case of emergencies but emphasized it wasn’t mandatory. In San Diego, there is a HFEN and backup assigned to each facility. If the assigned HFEN cannot be reached, they may call the employee’s personal cell phone number. If there is still no answer, they will move on to the next person on the list. They agreed that if someone is called in, they would receive standby or call-back pay as per the contract. If you have concerns about this, please contact the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).

Every District Office has a Fleet Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating the maintenance for state cars. DGS is to keep the car clean. There is also a list of approved offices for service repairs. If a state car is not safe or in good working order, Management doesn’t expect anyone to go out in it. It was stated that employees should use the most cost-effective method of transportation, which is using the state car in most cases. However, if a safe and well-maintained car is not available, we can use our own car or rent a car. We brought up issues about cars being returned by 5:00 p.m., and some HFENs don’t have access to their DOs after hours. They will get back to us on those concerns. If there is a reason a specific state car wouldn’t work, the HFEN should have a conversation with their Supervisor. We will continue this discussion at the next meeting.

MILEAGE - As usual, there were no new updates on the mileage issue, and we suspect it may need to be addressed in the next contract negotiations.

As always, if you have any individual or group issues you need help with, please call the Local 1000 Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).

Thank you.

In Unity,
SEIU Local 1000