COVID-19 Update for Chicopee School Custodians

Last Friday the Union met with the Superintendent and assistant Superintendent over concerns that the return to work letter send last Thursday did not have a clear plan of return, nor did it address safety concerns.  The following  is what UFCW Local 1459, along with all the Union Stewards, Negotiated. 
 
-PPE masks will be available at all locations for all returning employees.  Unit directors will put out a notice to all employees telling them where they can find PPE.
 
-Administration will begin looking into buying gloves to go with masks.
 
-The return plan to get employees back into the building will be done in a way which limits the number of people in the building at any given time. Schedules will be staggered to limit the numbers in the building.  
 
-From those who have for the past 7 weeks remained at home at no loss of wages due to serious health concerns or because they are taking care of a family member, the administration will discuss options for these people.  The parties agree that these individuals will not be subject to discipline for remaining home until they have discussed options for continued leave and have time to acquire the proper documentation with Human Resources. 
 
-While the return to work order is only for half of an employee’s schedule they will still receive their full pay and benefits. 
 
-Any employee who has not been receiving Chicopee emails should inform their director and they will be assisted to ensure they are getting all the notifications.
 
– The parties agree that there needs to be a reasonable amount of time given to employees to return to work should they have legitimate issues they are dealing with. No employee shall be disciplined during the first several days of the call back should they not be able to attend.
 
 
Chicopee Custodians-  When scheduling the return of custodians the Director shall work with the stewards and custodians to bring employees back.  While the letter of return to work states the building shall be open for work only from 7am-3:30pm Custodians who have a second shift will not be forced to work in the AM if they can not.  The Union has agreed to allow Custodians to temporarily change their schedules if it suits them and accommodates the City’s plans.  

COVID-19 Update for River Valley Coop

RVC. We have LMC scheduled for 22nd to go over leave requests and safety procedures. There was an OSHA complaint filed last week by a customer that we will review.

COVID-19 Update

A Letter From Steven A. Toleman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO by Lisa Colon 4/16/2020:

Dear Chair Moore, Chair Naughton, and members of the Committee,

On behalf of over 400,000 union families in Massachusetts, including tens of thousands of workers on the front lines of this pandemic, I am testifying in strong support of HB4611/SB2602 An Act relative to emergency hazard health duty.

Thank you for your tireless efforts to combat this pandemic, both on the public health front and the economic front. This unprecedented crisis has undoubtedly laid bare how intertwined the two are – and how important every day working people are to keeping every family safe, secure, healthy and fed. There are currently tens of thousands of essential workers in Massachusetts on the job – and they are on the front lines of exposure to this virus. Whether police, fire fighters, EMTs, corrections officers, nurses, doctors, health care workers, janitors, pharmacy, grocery and food production workers, transit workers, child care workers, social workers, or construction workers – the virus can equally infect them and their loved ones, and leave them economically devastated if they are infected with COVID and unable to afford health care or pay their bills.

That’s why we think that every worker considered essential to keeping our Commonwealth functioning during this very difficult time should at a minimum receive free childcare while working; free coverage for all coronavirus treatments, tests, medicines; the personal protective equipment they so desperately need to keep themselves, their families and the people they serve safe; and they should be continued to be paid in full if they become unable to work, presumably because of exposure to COVID while on the job.

As it stands now, first responders who need to take time off of work due to COVID could be forced through a process of proving who, what, when, where and how they acquired this debilitating virus, even in the performance of their duties and amidst an unimaginable shortage of testing. There should be a presumption by the Commonwealth that any worker who becomes ill during this pandemic contracted their medical condition or incapacity to work in the line of duty, and they should be paid for on duty time without having to use any paid or contractual time off.

We hope that you report this bill out of your Committee favorably and swiftly. Thank you for your consideration and for your public service.

Sincerely,

 

Steven A. Tolman,

President

 

President Toleman along with the UFCW Local’s 328, 1445, 1459 and other unions are working together with state legislators to support the passage of an “emergency hazard health bill” designed for essential workers and first responders to paid in full if they become unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 while on the job.  

The proposed bill is different from “hazard pay”, which typically is an hourly premium that some Employers have temporarily adopted for essential and first responder workers.  The proposed emergency hazard health bill seeks to provide additional financial protection without a worker having to use any accrued paid or contractual time off.

When Employers are unable or unwilling to provide additional protections and compensation during this crisis, unions are taking it a step further by bringing their members health, safety and economic concerns to political leaders in hopes of strengthening protections for workers and their families.  

I will keep you updated of any further developments.

COVID-19 Update for Willimansett West

A Letter From Steven A. Toleman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO by Lisa Colon 4/16/2020:

Dear Chair Moore, Chair Naughton, and members of the Committee,

On behalf of over 400,000 union families in Massachusetts, including tens of thousands of workers on the front lines of this pandemic, I am testifying in strong support of HB4611/SB2602 An Act relative to emergency hazard health duty.

Thank you for your tireless efforts to combat this pandemic, both on the public health front and the economic front. This unprecedented crisis has undoubtedly laid bare how intertwined the two are – and how important every day working people are to keeping every family safe, secure, healthy and fed. There are currently tens of thousands of essential workers in Massachusetts on the job – and they are on the front lines of exposure to this virus. Whether police, fire fighters, EMTs, corrections officers, nurses, doctors, health care workers, janitors, pharmacy, grocery and food production workers, transit workers, child care workers, social workers, or construction workers – the virus can equally infect them and their loved ones, and leave them economically devastated if they are infected with COVID and unable to afford health care or pay their bills.

That’s why we think that every worker considered essential to keeping our Commonwealth functioning during this very difficult time should at a minimum receive free childcare while working; free coverage for all coronavirus treatments, tests, medicines; the personal protective equipment they so desperately need to keep themselves, their families and the people they serve safe; and they should be continued to be paid in full if they become unable to work, presumably because of exposure to COVID while on the job.

As it stands now, first responders who need to take time off of work due to COVID could be forced through a process of proving who, what, when, where and how they acquired this debilitating virus, even in the performance of their duties and amidst an unimaginable shortage of testing. There should be a presumption by the Commonwealth that any worker who becomes ill during this pandemic contracted their medical condition or incapacity to work in the line of duty, and they should be paid for on duty time without having to use any paid or contractual time off.

We hope that you report this bill out of your Committee favorably and swiftly. Thank you for your consideration and for your public service.

Sincerely,

 

Steven A. Tolman,

President

 

President Toleman along with the UFCW Local’s 328, 1445, 1459 and other unions are working together with state legislators to support the passage of an “emergency hazard health bill” designed for essential workers and first responders to paid in full if they become unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 while on the job.  

The proposed bill is different from “hazard pay”, which typically is an hourly premium that some Employers have temporarily adopted for essential and first responder workers.  The proposed emergency hazard health bill seeks to provide additional financial protection without a worker having to use any accrued paid or contractual time off.

When Employers are unable or unwilling to provide additional protections and compensation during this crisis, unions are taking it a step further by bringing their members health, safety and economic concerns to political leaders in hopes of strengthening protections for workers and their families.  

I will keep you updated of any further developments.

COVID-19 Update for Willimansett East

A Letter From Steven A. Toleman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO by Lisa Colon 4/16/2020:

Dear Chair Moore, Chair Naughton, and members of the Committee,

On behalf of over 400,000 union families in Massachusetts, including tens of thousands of workers on the front lines of this pandemic, I am testifying in strong support of HB4611/SB2602 An Act relative to emergency hazard health duty.

Thank you for your tireless efforts to combat this pandemic, both on the public health front and the economic front. This unprecedented crisis has undoubtedly laid bare how intertwined the two are – and how important every day working people are to keeping every family safe, secure, healthy and fed. There are currently tens of thousands of essential workers in Massachusetts on the job – and they are on the front lines of exposure to this virus. Whether police, fire fighters, EMTs, corrections officers, nurses, doctors, health care workers, janitors, pharmacy, grocery and food production workers, transit workers, child care workers, social workers, or construction workers – the virus can equally infect them and their loved ones, and leave them economically devastated if they are infected with COVID and unable to afford health care or pay their bills.

That’s why we think that every worker considered essential to keeping our Commonwealth functioning during this very difficult time should at a minimum receive free childcare while working; free coverage for all coronavirus treatments, tests, medicines; the personal protective equipment they so desperately need to keep themselves, their families and the people they serve safe; and they should be continued to be paid in full if they become unable to work, presumably because of exposure to COVID while on the job.

As it stands now, first responders who need to take time off of work due to COVID could be forced through a process of proving who, what, when, where and how they acquired this debilitating virus, even in the performance of their duties and amidst an unimaginable shortage of testing. There should be a presumption by the Commonwealth that any worker who becomes ill during this pandemic contracted their medical condition or incapacity to work in the line of duty, and they should be paid for on duty time without having to use any paid or contractual time off.

We hope that you report this bill out of your Committee favorably and swiftly. Thank you for your consideration and for your public service.

Sincerely,

 

Steven A. Tolman,

President

 

President Toleman along with the UFCW Local’s 328, 1445, 1459 and other unions are working together with state legislators to support the passage of an “emergency hazard health bill” designed for essential workers and first responders to paid in full if they become unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 while on the job.  

The proposed bill is different from “hazard pay”, which typically is an hourly premium that some Employers have temporarily adopted for essential and first responder workers.  The proposed emergency hazard health bill seeks to provide additional financial protection without a worker having to use any accrued paid or contractual time off.

When Employers are unable or unwilling to provide additional protections and compensation during this crisis, unions are taking it a step further by bringing their members health, safety and economic concerns to political leaders in hopes of strengthening protections for workers and their families.  

I will keep you updated of any further developments.

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