Health Facility Evaluator Nurses (HFEN) Update – January 25, 2021


Thank you for all your emails and feedback. Please continue sending your questions, comments, and feedback to We read each email and try to respond accordingly in our updates.


  • The Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) issued a complaint against the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on our charge that CDPH committed an unfair labor practice. CLICK HERE  to view the document. Our Unfair Practice Charge (UPC) focused on the unilateral implementation of the Duty Statement without completing the meet and confer process. Management’s unilateral action failed to address the flaws in the duty statement, the concerns of the Union and the HFENs, and the separation of functions between training and enforcement.
  • Next, we must meet with Management and PERB to try to resolve the issues mutually through a settlement conference. While we are required to engage in this process, we are not obligated to settle.  
  • The date of the settlement has not been finalized yet. We will have three HFENs attend the settlement conference: Felicia Barbato, Andres Villatoro, and Carla Larson. The settlement conference is not public so we cannot allow anybody access. If we do not come to a settlement, then an evidentiary hearing will be scheduled on the UPC.


  • Regarding the overall mileage issue, Management stated they are still talking with CalHR, there is no decision at this time, and this is a statewide issue. Management stated that Heidi is advocating for her staff, but until they get direction from CalHR, there is nothing they can share.
  • In December, Christina Montserrat confirmed that employees who rent cars may ask for reimbursement for taxi/ride-share to and from the rental facility. 
  • On January 14th, Susan Espinoza stated that “if employees are getting reimbursement for Uber & Lyft [to and from the rental facility], they should also receive reimbursement for driving their own vehicles to/from the rental car agency.”


  • Last month, Management noticed us of a new CDPH Vaccination Policy. CLICK HERE to view SEIU notice #C-2020-535-CDPH.
  • Below are answers to the questions we asked:
    • Is this vaccine mandatory for CDPH staff? 
      As per the Vaccine Policy, it is not mandatory, however it is recommended
    • Which classifications will be identified to receive the vaccine first? 
      Refer to the allocation guidelines: Allocation Gudelines for COVID 19 Vaccine
    • What will happen if someone refuses to receive the vaccine? 
      Employees requiring an exemption to the COVID 19 vaccination, as an accommodation, must contact the Disability Management Unit. 

      NOTE: On January 14th, 2021, we asked Management to clarify why employees would need to contact the Disability Management Unit (DMU) if the vaccine is not mandatory. Susan Espinoza replied “We want employees to know the vaccine is not mandatory. However, if they choose not to take the vaccine, they must still perform the essential functions of their position. If they need additional accommodations, they need to contact DMU.”
    • Is the department covering the cost for the vaccine if the employee goes through their health care provider?  

      If employees follow the implementation under the Vaccine Policy, there will be no out-of-pocket cost associated with the vaccine. In order to receive the vaccine in priority order, employees will be given a letter, via email, on CDPH letterhead, stating their vaccine tier is based on work duties. In addition to this letter, employees should also take their CDPH work identification badge when getting vaccinated. Field staff who work in health care facilities will receive their vaccine from the local health department, unless they choose to wait to use a voucher for Walgreens/CVS or go to their health care provider. Non-field staff, who will be vaccinated in subsequent tiers, may receive the vaccine from the local health department or their health care provider.
      NOTE: On January 14th, 2021, we told Management that vouchers were not given out and that there was substantial confusion about who to contact to get the vaccine. Susan Espinosa stated: “regarding access to vaccines, any individual in the current phase (such as HFENs), they will be provided with a letter and they can go to Walgreens, CVS, or other providers (such as Kaiser,or Mercy).” She also committed to ask Heidi to provide clearer options regarding who to contact, how to receive the vaccine, and how to schedule an appointments.  

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

Thanks and In Unity,

Felicia (Lisa) Barbato, HFEN
Andres Villatoro, HFEN
Kim Cowart, RN, Chair, Bargaining Unit 17
Mo Kashmiri, SEIU Local 1000 Staff