Health Facilities Evaluator Nurses (HFEN)
Update from October 2, 2020


1) Two Additional New Notices

Recently, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) sent our Union two new notices of changes in working conditions:

    a. C-2020-404-CDPH (Respiratory Protection Policy)
    b. C-2020-408-CDPH (RSS Electronic Survey App)

Please continue to email us at with your concerns or questions.

2) Update on the Unfair Practice Charge (UPC) Regarding the HFEN Duty Statement Changes.

Our Union has not received a response from CDPH Management since filing the Unfair Practice Charge (UPC). We asked Management about a response to the UPC, and they are working with CalHR Legal on a response. Despite our valid concerns about the new duty statement, filing an Unfair Practice Charge does not give employees a protected right to refuse assignments. Like many situations when we disagree with management, staff still have to follow the instruction of “obey now” and challenge it later. As Lily Cervantes of CalHR stated at our September 1 meeting, if employees feel uncomfortable signing the revised job duty statement, then they can sign for “receipt only” to acknowledge it was provided. Alternatively, management can just document that it was provided to the employee.

If a HFEN is affected by a conflict of interest in an assignment or other concerns, complete our Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) form available on our website by clicking here. Please make sure to state dates, time, locations, and conflicts so the incident, if needed, can be used later as part of the UPC case.

3) Update on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Supplies

On October 2nd, 2020, our Union met with management for a check-in phone call. Christina Montserrat and Susan Espinoza attended for CDPH and Felicia Barbato, Kim Cowart, and Mo Kashmiri attended on behalf of our Union. Before the meeting, management sent us a response to our questions regarding PPE.

During our check-in, we asked additional follow-up questions about PPE and brought forward concerns. Management told us a new shipment of PPE should have arrived at District Offices (DOs). With the new masks, we pointed out to management that employees would need to be fit-tested again. Every HFEN who wants to be fit-tested should be fit-tested. Susan Espinoza stated employees should not be sent out if they failed the fit-test. In such a situation, management will work with the employee to get an alternative mask that fits.

The Department is looking at other respirators. We asked about reusable elastomeric respirators and sent management more information about them. We also asked how and when supplies are ordered, and management will get back to us with more information.

4) No New Information on Mileage

Regarding mileage, CDPH brought no new information. CDPH is working with CalHR on this issue statewide, but no final decision has been made. When staff submits mileage, their home office is the DO until notified otherwise.

If you have any individual or group issue you need help with, please call the Local 1000 member resource center at 877.471.SEIU (7348).

Felicia Barbato
Nicola Lester
Andres Villatoro
Kim Cowart
Mo Kashmiri