Telework: Local 1000 member seeks, wins the ability to telework after 3 unreasonable denials
One of our Southern California members working at DMV was recently granted the ability to telework—and to care for a child whose elementary school had closed—after an assist from one of our representatives at the Union Resource Center (URC).
Our member had used up the available E-FMLA for the closure, and when that expired, three requests for telework were denied. When the member returned to work, she learned other colleagues were working remotely. A written request for telework or a schedule modification went unanswered.
Frustrated, the member requested, and was granted, an unpaid leave of absence until January 2021.
Subsequently, the member contacted Local 1000, and working with the URC, the family doctor, and with DMV management, our member was approved for telework and is once again earning a salary and able to care for her young child.
Safe Working Conditions: Management forced to rethink mandated overtime in potentially dangerous conditions
When a number of our members were mandated to work an overtime shift in a closed, cramped, windowless room in an Oakland-area state office building, calls from one of our Stewards and the Union Resource Center quickly solved the issue.
The hazardous conditions were in an office where three different individuals had already contracted the coronavirus. The job entailed filing in a crowded room with many workers present.
After being challenged, management rescinded the mandate and the overtime is now fully optional.
DMV members breathe easier after air quality threatens health
With the air quality index well over 200 (“extremely unhealthy”), a number of DMV workers desperately complained that they were being made to stand outside for many hours at a time (some of them “all day”) to help customers, at a time when breathing the filthy air—even wearing masks—was hazardous to their health.
Despite the conditions (and the presence of several members with health issues that increased their susceptibility to bad air), DMV office managers claimed they were helpless to do anything about the issue.
Our representatives at the URC contacted DMV’s Labor Relations Officer, to report a situation identified as unhealthy and unacceptable. A grievance was threatened, but the Labor Relations Officer (LRO) called and ordered the managers to take steps to schedule employees for shorter outdoor stents and to be mindful of the extreme conditions members were facing.
Members were safer as a result and appreciated the fast action.