Member Story – Mandy Ho
“We had to purchase our own supplies for sanitation for our office to take proactive steps in response,”
While a lot of attention has been given to emergency responses to the COVID-19 crisis, these responses would not be possible without the work of thousands of state workers handling the complex financial and logistical problems involved. Mandy Ho, an employee of the DHCS in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, works in the financial audits branch. While she isn’t hands on with patients, handling the financial end is essential to ensuring the state’s response is effective.
This crisis has stressed the importance of clear communication between staff and management. “Telework is in place and we are in communication with our northern, southern, and central branches to make sure everything is okay,” says Ho, “As new stewards, we really liked having information from the union on what current issues were and new information being released.
The fact that some management is more proactive than others has put workers and management at the Rancho Cucamonga office in a collaborative position where they had to take the lead themselves. “We had to purchase our own supplies for sanitation for our office to take proactive steps in response.” Because of this change in workplace requirements, ensuring that all members are able to work safely requires a coordinated effort.
Communication is key in circumstances like this. Everyone responds differently during a crisis. Ho credits her work with the union with helping her stay informed and ahead of the situation as much as possible. “More than anything, workers who aren’t involved can’t see behind the scenes of how these decisions are being made, and being a part of the union and involved with this process gives us that information and peace of mind,” says Ho.
Involvement happens in person, over the phone, and by asking questions and staying involved, and Ho stressed the importance of asking members to take action and call the MRC with questions and concerns to ensure we stay connected, even when we are apart. “Some people choose not to be members, but membership is important to me,” Ho says, “as workers continue to fulfill their duties, the union also continues to provide a solid background for us all to work with the same rules, and to help clarify rules about telework and ATO. So many people don’t know what to do or how to help when the stakes are life and death.”