An Update on COVID-19

The World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the situation continues to change and develop day by day. UPTE is monitoring the situation closely and has been working closely with the University on changes in work and policy to minimize impact on members as much as possible in these challenging days. 

Here’s what you need to know:

UPTE has issued a demand to meet with the University and bargain the effects of this virus on you and your coworkers. We are deeply concerned that there is inadequate preparation, training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers to care for patients at the medical centers as well as provide the necessary support on campus to staff, students and research in light of the health hazards and imminent risk posed by COVID-19. Please contact UPTE if you have concerns about lack of measures taken to reduce COVID-19 exposure in your workplace.

The University has released a policy on Paid Leave and Remote Provisions that may answer some questions but is not the final say on leave usage. We are meeting to demand that any workers who are quarantined or sent home from work be placed on paid administrative leave and not be required to use personal leave balances as is the current practice at two medical centers currently, contrary to this policy. 

UC has also encouraged members whose work can be completed remotely to do so. If you believe you can perform your job off site, ask your manager to assist you with getting you set up to work from home. If you encounter any issues or resistence, please contact UPTE.

Also, the State of California had declared workers who need to stay home to care for their children due to school closures would be eligible for Paid Family Leave. While UC employees are not eligible for state leave, we are demanding they mirror the state’s lead and pay a minimum of 14 days paid administrative leave.


  • Wash your hands often for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect touched hard surfaces such as door knobs with disinfectant 
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others when able (social distancing)
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands after
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick

Other resources you may find helpful:

Information from the CDC:

California Department of Health: 

For more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19:

OSHA hazard recognition page for the disease:

AFT bulletin on Covid-19 in Higher Education Settings:

UC’s Comprehensive Guide to COVID-19:

For information on Social Distancing and Why It’s Important: