COVID-19 Update 3/13/20

Following up on the email I sent Monday, there are several important updates on how the City and Local 1092 are handling the current Coronavirus situation.

We met with the Mayor’s Office yesterday evening to further discuss the suggestions we made to them earlier this week. As a result, they are rolling out several temporary policies today. These policies should ease the burden on those directly affected by COVID-19, and on those doing their best to slow the virus’ spread.

First, there will be paid leave (in addition to any time you currently have on the books) for employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or directed by their medical provider to isolate themselves because they’ve exhibited symptoms.

Second, there will also be paid leave (in addition to any time you currently have on the books) for employees who must be absent due to a quarantine order from their medical provider (even though they may not presently have any symptoms).

In both of these situations, the paid leave is in addition to any paid time off the employee has or will have on the books.

Third, Department Heads will be allowed to advance vacation/sick days to employees who are staying at home because of some other, non-COVID-19 illness, or because of their child’s school closure. If that employee has already used up their 2020 vacation time and any comp time they may have, this paid leave can come out of an employee’s 2021 bank. If you do not want to use your vacation time, just apply for FMLA to make sure the absences are excused.

Fourth, the City will temporarily stop using biometric screening (hand swipes). Instead, they’ll require employees to swipe their ID cards and then “waive” their hand over the prongs. This will register the employee as present and at work.

Fifth, the City has created a tele-work policy for people whose jobs Department Heads believe can be completed from home. In large part of course, this won’t apply to us. It’s hard to install a water main, repair a bridge, etc. from home.

Your supervisors should have details on the implementation of these policies very soon.

Additionally, from a local union perspective:

LiUNA’s General President has recommended that all locals nationwide cancel their regular monthly membership meetings for the months of March and April. Therefore, Local 1092 is canceling our regular March and April Monthly Membership Meetings. March and April Executive Board meetings will proceed as planned, and the Executive Board has been authorized to conduct any business of the Local that would normally occur at the membership meetings. The Executive Board will then report its activities in the minutes at the next monthly membership meeting, currently scheduled for May 18, 2020. This is similar to what happens when we dispense with our July and December meetings each year. This also means Apprentices will not be required to attend a meeting during this, the second quarter of 2020. These cancellations of the March and April regular monthly membership meetings are currently the only change to the meeting schedule and business activities of Local 1092. As always, we encourage all members to contact us with any questions or issues you may have. No need to wait for the May meeting to bring them to our attention.

This is a continuously evolving situation, and we will continue to do our best to stay on top of it. These are positive steps for our members and should significantly aid in slowing the spread of the virus and keeping our members and their families as healthy as possible. We are pushing for similar policies for our members at the County, the Park District, and Cicero, and will be in contact when we make progress on that front. Call with any questions or issues.

In Solidarity,

Joe