Alameda Health System workers are on the front lines of public health in a time of unprecedented crisis, and have been relentless in their efforts to hold AHS management accountable and force them to prioritize the health and safety.
In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, SEIU 1021 member Derrick Boutte shared how the work of every member of the hospital team was crucial to saving and protecting lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shortage of personal protective equipment facing essential frontline workers during this pandemic has been well-documented. It is not just nurses and doctors who are forced to go without—housekeeping staff, laboratory workers, clerks, dietary workers, and more are also forced to work without adequate protection. This puts everyone at risk.
Thanks to an SEIU Local 1021 negotiated side letter agreement over PPE in response to the 2018 wildfires, the Livermore Unified School District was already equipped with the PPE to supply our frontline workers serving daily school breakfasts and lunches during their daily meal distribution period.
Student nutrition workers and custodians are working 2 hours, every other day while receiving full wages.
Add your name to our petition calling for more COVID-19 tests and protective equipment.
There’s a good chance that if you’ve turned on the news recently, you’ve seen frontline workers—like SEIU 1021 members working in healthcare—talking about the desperate need for adequate supplies and protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, decades of tax cuts for corporations and the ultra-wealthy have gutted our public health budgets and underfunded our social safety net. Now, we are seeing the dire consequences that workers have predicted all along.
But you can help. Sign our petition demanding that President Trump and corporations step up to provide critical supplies, tests, and personal protective equipment to help keep healthcare workers and our communities safe and healthy.
Alameda Health System Workers Stand Together for Patient and Worker Safety As the COVID-19 Pandemic Strikes
The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious public health threat, and many SEIU 1021 members are on the front lines of keeping the public healthy while keeping each other safe. In Alameda County, workers across the public health system have stood together to demand an end to the chronic mismanagement and underfunding that have endangered workers and underserved the public for years – and their solidarity is getting results.
After a series of actions, including lunchtime rallies, marches, testimony at Board of Supervisors meetings, and an emergency press conference in front of Oakland’s Highland Hospital, AHS management has agreed to pay workers who are forced to self-quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus at work.
John Pearson, an emergency room nurse and President of the AHS chapter, said, “We have been fighting understaffing and not enough equipment and inadequate training for years and years, and today we had a massive win. I’m so proud of my coworkers and so glad to be union strong in the face of COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult and frightening time for all of our members—those who are still working on the frontlines of this crisis to provide service, and those of us at home keeping ourselves and our families safe during this pandemic.
Throughout this crisis, SEIU 1021 leaders in San Francisco have been working hard to ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of our members, families, and communities. We’re excited to announce new victories for workers in San Francisco below.
Nurses across the country are sharing their stories of empty storage closets and makeshift safety equipment in the fight against COVID-19 on social media. John Pearson, an emergency room nurse from Alameda Hospital in California and SEIU 1021 member, is among those online exposing these hospital shortages and calling for the need for personal protective equipment.
“The scariest thing for us who work at the bedside is having to make life and death choices because we don’t have enough staffing and equipment,” said Pearson.
On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents immediately to heed current State public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect health and well-being of all Californians.
In accordance with this order, the State Public Health Officer has designated the following list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
Check out the full list and details below:
Earlier this month, hundreds of public healthcare workers rallied at a press conference and testified at a hearing at SF City Hall. Registered nurses, doctors, social workers urged the Board of Supervisors to boost staffing and provide safer working conditions at San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) facilities, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to ensure the health and well-being of our members and staff, and to comply with the shelter in place orders, SEIU 1021 offices are closed until further notice.
All SEIU 1021 events/trainings/meetings at SEIU Local 1021 offices or sponsored by SEIU 1021 are being canceled or postponed including:
On March 16, Sacramento Unified School District workers marched in unity to the Superintendent’s office to voice their concerns over the Coronavirus. They wanted to know what actions were being taken to prioritize their safety.
Hours later staffers were allowed to go home. When we stand together — we win! Watch the video below.
Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order Ensuring State Funding for Schools Even in Event of Physical Closure
The order mandates that school districts use dollars to fund distance learning and high quality educational opportunities, safely provide school meals, and arrange for the supervision of students during school hours
The order requires Department of Education and California Health & Human Services Agency to develop strategies to address equity challenges around internet connectivity, ensure students with disabilities receive specialized education, and safely provide meals
Dear SEIU 1021 member,
Since coronavirus became a global pandemic, our union’s attention has been focused on how to ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of our members, families, and communities—including many of our members who, in the midst of this crisis, continue to provide crucial services in our communities.
I know that things are scary now and we’re all disappointed at how unprepared the Federal administration was for this outbreak, so I wanted to outline the steps our local is taking to protect our members and share resources from the California Department of Public Health.
Right now, SEIU 1021 staff and member leaders are working hard to safeguard your health at work by pursuing the following demands:
- Employers must minimize the risk of infection for members.
- Employers must adopt and provide copies of emergency response protocols and plans.
- Employers must bargain over workplace changes and their impact on members.