By ILFOPLC, Staff - Monday, April 6, 2020
The current state of emergency has created a series of issues. The Union has been working tirelessly to ensure the safety and health of all its members and addressing all your concerns.
A major issue has been the County’s slow response in issuing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). The CDC has been recommending the use of masks only for those who are symptomatic or for individuals in direct contact with those known to have COVID-19. However, the CDC’s position is clearly meant to address the high demand and lack of supply to ensure medical personnel have the PPE. This virus can be spread by individuals who are asymptomatic. The delay in issuing masks puts the entire unit at risk.
Until the Employer follows the Union’s demand to issue masks to every Deputy, the Union stands by its advice that you continue to wear your own masks. Safety is our priority. If you have a mask, continue to wear it properly during your shift. Many have been threatened with discipline. If ordered to remove your mask, be respectful, but respectfully decline. The threat of discipline should not trump your safety concerns. If you are written up, inform your Union Steward and we will deal with it.
As of April 5, 2020, the DOC had 234 detainees who tested positive for COVID-19, 24 detainees had result pending, and 32 detainees tested negative. The DOC population was at 4,547 and Community Corrections at 2,640.
Due to the impact of Covid-19 at the jail, the fallout will affect Court Service Deputies. Thus far, the Employer has invoked the emergency provision of its CBAs and temporarily recalled the entire 2019 class back to corrections. If the current trend of positive cases continues, the Employer will be forced to recall more personnel to the jail. The process will be done on a temporary basis first by volunteer, and then reverse seniority. Those who are recalled will see an increase in pay, but not enough. We are demanding an increase on par with the additional risk involved. Once this emergency is contained, we will demand that those affected be returned to the Court Services Unit with full benefit and seniority rights.
This situation is unprecedented. Many of you have a higher risk factor, whether it’s age, preexisting conditions, or family issues. We will work to get you placed somewhere with little or no contact with the public or taken off the schedule altogether. If you have concerns, let your Union Steward know right away.