Coronavirus Communications

UPTE Coronavirus Communications

FAQs about COVID-19 & Paid Administrative Leave
BTSA Systemwide Update
Tell President Trump: Use the National Defense Production Act to Protect Our Workers Now
March 26 COVID-19 Town Hall Invite
March 23 COVID-19 Update for UPTE Members
Calling All UC Theatrical Technicians!
UC is Providing Pay
About COVID-19
UPTE Offices Closed Until Further Notice
An Update on COVID-19

 

March 31, 2020: FAQs about COVID-19 & Paid Administrative Leave

Click here for the full FAQ.

 

March 30, 2020: BTSA Systemwide Update

Greetings,

We had our first BTSA systemwide check-in on 3/26/20 to discuss changing working conditions at different campuses. We had BTSAs from UC Davis, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Diego and Riverside. 

Here are some of the concerns that we spoke about:

  • PPE for BTSAs that are working in med centers and on campus. (BTSAs should be allowed to wear PPE when they feel they need to. There is a PPE shortage.)
  • The need for ergonomic workstation at home office (chair, desk, etc)
  • Implementing “on-call” for critical support onsite visits (how we can reduce the need to have an Analyst onsite for long periods of time.)
  • Creating an Emergency Support Group for IT onsite support
  • Taking on additional job duties as coworkers have self-identified as high risk for coronavirus and not able to work on campus or med centers. More analysts are using Slack to communicate
  • Being productive from home (what works and what doesn’t)
  • Ticket routing and workload (how we are managing)
  • Continuing our weekly system wide check-ins
  • Growing our group of BTSA union members to address concerns

This is a great opportunity to learn what your coworkers are going through at their respective campus and medical center. We would like to hear from you. If you would like to participate in next week’s Zoom meeting, please send an email to Bobby Godinez at rgodinez@cwa-union.org or call/text (619) 807-9969.

We are also planning on having Zoom meetings for each specific campus/med center in the weeks to come so look out for an invite for your specific campus and RSVP.

UPTE has put together an informational page for Covid-19 on their website: http://www.upte.org/local/new/covid19/

Your membership counts! We need to unite together to make sure UC addresses our concerns and safety in this changing environment. You can sign up to become a member by clicking here.

 

March 26, 2020: Use the National Defense Production Act to Protect Our Workers Now

Our healthcare workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, but our facilities are suffering from criminal shortages of N95 respirators, surgical masks, protective gowns, latex gloves and other protective equipment. This is a national emergency and our lives are endangered as we work to save those caught in the wave of infections.

The President has the power to make a difference by using the National Defense Production Act to its fullest extent to ensure that healthcare workers get the materials they need – sign the petition now to tell the President that we need action and leadership NOW:

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protecthealthcareworkers

March 26, 2020: COVID-19 Town Hall Invite

The past several weeks have seen huge shocks to our work and to the economy from the COVID-19 (“novel coronavirus”) pandemic. Many of us perform front-line, essential work responding to the crisis or supporting vital public institutions that serve our communities, our state, and the country. We have to ensure that our work and our health is protected while we rise to the challenge of this crisis.

Please join us for a telephone town hall call tomorrow evening so that we can share the latest developments from our communication with all of our employers. We are pushing for maintaining the highest standards for health and safety, continuity of pay, and enforcing the terms of our contracts. We will also answer your questions as well as share steps that each of us can take to directly support an effective response to the crisis.

Thursday, March 26th at 7 PM Pacific
Dial-in number: (978) 990-5000
Access code: 522612

Please send us your questions (email covidQs@upte-cwa.org) in advance of the call. This helps us to finalize our Frequently Asked Questions resource sheet for all members.

These virtual meetings are open to UPTE members in good standing.  Encourage your coworkers to join UPTE today and participate in the benefits of a strong union of workers standing together – even when we’re sheltering apart.

 

March 23, 2020: COVID-19 Update for all UPTE Members

Amid ongoing concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus), UPTE is closely monitoring the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. All Californians are now indefinitely required to stay home except for essential workers – an important step in making sure the COVID-19 crisis is brought under control as quickly as possible. 

As circumstances continue to develop, UPTE’s top priority is keeping our members, families, and communities safe and secure in this difficult time. We want to assure you that UPTE is communicating regularly and bargaining the effects of the pandemic with the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) regarding best practices to keep our union family safe and our community secure. We have focused on:

  • Healthcare workers like our members have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need to avoid contracting the virus
  • Members not performing critical work are not required to come to work, which risks spreading the virus unnecessarily
  • Members who can’t work because of curtailment of UC operations are being allowed to use the paid leave that UC has granted

If you are being asked to come to campus but aren’t doing critical work, or are being denied use of paid leave, please contact us at coronavirus@upte-cwa.org immediately.

If you are being asked to work with PPE that doesn’t meet the Cal OSHA standardsplease send us a picture and explanation that we can use for social media.

Demand the Senate Put Workers First!

The COVID-19 response bill being pushed by Senate Republicans is a monumental failure. Shameless politicians are using this pandemic to give handouts to their corporate and Wall Street friends while leaving workers to fend for themselves.

Senate Democrats are pushing back against this corporate giveaway to insist on a bill that will make sure that the money goes to those who need it most – the people whose paychecks are at risk during this crisis.

Any legislation passed by Congress should require companies that receive federal relief funds to keep people on payroll. It also must make sure that companies who face bankruptcy do not use that as an excuse to do an end run around the protections union members have bargained in their contracts.

The bottom line is the Senate Republican COVID-19 bill is a security blanket for corporate executives and Wall Street. Any bill the Senate passes must put working people first. Click here to call now or dial: 1-866-937-7983

Tell the person who answers the phone:

Any coronavirus relief bill must include requirements that companies use the funds to keep employees on payroll and protections for workers’ contracts in bankruptcy.

Many of you are on the front lines – going to work every day to provide critical services during this crisis. Congress must give workers the support they need. Call your Senators now: 1-866-937-7983

At this time, UPTE staff are working remotely. Our local staff and officers will respond to all inquiries ASAP but there may be a delay.

We hope you, and all of our family, remain safe and healthy.

 

March 23, 2020: Calling All UC Theatrical Technicians!

Please read on for a crucial request and an update on how the University’s paid leave policy may help you in this challenging moment.

First, support our Sisters, Brothers and Friends throughout the performing arts and entertainment industries by signing this petition telling Congress that displaced entertainment workers must be included in COVID–19 (coronavirus) relief legislation. Across our country, performing arts facilities are going dark in efforts to slow the spread of the virus, which has already had a devastating impact on those in our line of work. In this unprecedented moment we must show our support for all working people, but especially the very hard-working technicians of the entertainment industry who, due to the nature of our field of work, are uniquely impacted.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201, signed into law last week) will help many people across the country. However, these benefits often don’t apply to displaced entertainment workers because of the requirements for days worked on a job to qualify. We must ask Congress to go further and to cover workers who often work on a contract basis for multiple employers.

——————-
 

Second, UPTE has secured paid administrative leave to help soften the financial blows of California’s statewide shelter-in-place order. The Executive Order authorized by Janet Napolitano on March 16th grants up to 16 days of paid administrative leave for employees unable to work for COVID-19 related reasons. Per Diem and variable appointment employees can also get a pro-rated share of paid leave due to loss of work; please read on to see how you can qualify:

“On a one time and non-precedent setting basis, the University will determine the pro rata entitlement to paid administrative leave (under Executive Order 3/16/2020) for per diem and variable percentage appointees covered by other appointment types pursuant to a formula based on the actual time worked in accordance with the table below reflecting a two (2) month period.

Pay Cycles Pay Period Covering:
Bi-Weekly January 12, 2020 through January 25, 2020

January 26, 2020 through February 8, 2020

February 9, 2020 through February 22, 2020

February 23, 2020 through March 7, 2020

Monthly January 1, 2020 through January 31, 2020

February 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020

For employees with fixed schedules, the pro rata entitlement will be calculated based on their appointment percentage.”

For more information on receiving your paid administrative leave please contact your local Steward, Office, or Leadership Development Coordinator.

 

March 16, 2020: UC is Providing Pay – Executive Order by Napolitano

University of California
Executive Order
March 16, 2020

 

Background and Findings

As of this date, the world is facing a severe health crisis in which COVID-19, a new respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, places millions of people at risk of serious illness or death. The World Health Organization has declared that the disease is a pandemic.

Declarations of Emergency have been issued by the President of the United States, the Governor of California, and many California counties and other local jurisdictions, including many of the jurisdictions where the University of California maintains campuses or other significant operations.

In the United States, where the virus was detected only weeks ago, several thousand people have already been stricken ill by the disease. The disease is spreading rapidly in our communities and, accordingly, protecting the capacity of our health care systems is imperative.

Many governmental offices, school districts and universities, and private businesses have suspended in-person operations and/or directed employees to work remotely in an effort to slow the spread of the disease, and to conserve our limited health resources. The Governor of California has called for bars, wineries and nightclubs to temporarily cease operation and for restaurants to reduce capacity by 50% in order to allow for social distancing.

Health officials have placed a limit on mass gatherings and have restricted and/or advised against all travel except that which is deemed essential.
The University of California holds as its highest priority the health, safety and wellbeing of its students, faculty, clinicians, administrators and employees, and all other members of its communities.

The University holds as an additional priority the effective functioning of its health systems, which will serve as critical state assets in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and must be able to maintain sufficient staffing resources to meet operational needs.

As President of the University, I have concluded that critical steps must be taken to limit the exposure of members of our community to the disease within our community, to care for those who have fallen ill or otherwise been exposed, and to assure the continued functioning of critical operations, including most particularly the health systems that we will rely on to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19.

Executive Order

WHEREFORE AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA I DECLARE:
On the authority vested in me by Bylaw 30, Bylaw 22.1, Regents Policy 1500 and Standing Order 100.4(ee), and based on the foregoing circumstances, I hereby issue the following order, to be effective for the period March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, and direct the following:

On March 9, 2020, the University authorized a grant of up to 14 days of paid administrative leave for employees unable to work for COVID-19 related reasons. In order to address the extraordinary demands placed on our employees in seeking and providing health care for COVID-19, and otherwise responding to this pandemic, that guidance shall be modified as follows:

  • All employees shall be eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave, subject to the following conditions:
    • ​All hours must be used by December 31, 2020, or the allotment shall expire;
    • The hours may be used at any time during the period of this Executive Order, including intermittently, either before or after the use of any accrued leave or other paid leave, at the request of the employee, in consultation with the supervisor, provided that such use shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential university services, including in particular, the clinical services delivered by UC Health;
    • The number of hours for employees who work less than full-time shall be prorated according to the percent of the appointment;
    • Exempt employees who do not accrue sick or vacation leave are eligible for the one-time allotment of the paid administrative leave.
    • The paid administrative leave hours may only be used for the following purposes:
      • When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member;
      • When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons and/or the work site has implemented a COVID-19-related remote-work program or is under a shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely;
      • When an employee is unable to work because a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.

All University policies contrary to the provisions of this Executive Order, except those adopted by the Regents, shall be suspended to the extent of the conflict, during the period of this Order.

The Vice President – Systemwide Human Resources and the Vice Provost – Academic Personnel and Programs shall have the authority to issue further guidance about the parameters and use of this paid administrative leave, in consultation with the Executive Vice President – UC Health.
____________________

Janet A. Napolitano
President

Click here for the full PDF.

 

March 16, 2020: About 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 College 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 is working with the college leadership to minimize the effects of this virus on you and your coworkers. We are deeply concerned that the college provide the necessary support on campus to staff and students in light of the health hazards and imminent risk posed by COVID-19. Most classes are moving online. If you need assistance, contact UPTE.

The State of California has modified the rules for unemployment and under employment to remove the wait time for benefits to help if needed.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:

  • Wash your hands often for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not on hand
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash frequently touched hard surfaces such 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
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Other resources you may find helpful:

Information from the CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html?link_id=30&can_id=c9128b7cc3995f2bec1fab084b2bad75

California Department of Health:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx 

For more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

OSHA hazard recognition page for the disease:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/hazardrecognition.html#exposure_risk?link_id=31&can_id=c9128b7cc3995f2bec1fab084b2bad75

AFT bulletin on Covid-19 in Higher Education Settings:

https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/coronavirus_bulletin_highered_022420.pdf

California Community Colleges Board:

https://www.cccco.edu/About-Us/Chancellors-Office/Divisions/Communications-and-Marketing/Novel-Coronavirus

EDD information related to the coronavirus:

https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm

 

March 16, 2020: UPTE Offices Closed Until Further Notice

UPTE Offices (including the main Systemwide Office) are closed until further notice. This is in the wake of COVID-19.

We will update the main website when our offices are open again and our employees are safely able to return. Until then, feel free to contact us as needed below via email:

General inquiries not related to membership: info@upte-cwa.org

Coronavirus Workplace Concerns: coronavirus@upte-cwa.org

For individual and local campuses please see our Contact Us page.

For membership inquiries, you may call 833-4MY-UPTE; we may not answer until after the Shelter-In-Place provision set up by the government has lapsed – this could be until, before, or after April 7th.

 

March 16, 2020: 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.

 
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:

  • 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:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html?link_id=30&can_id=c9128b7cc3995f2bec1fab084b2bad75

California Department of Health:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx 

For more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

OSHA hazard recognition page for the disease:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/hazardrecognition.html#exposure_risk?link_id=31&can_id=c9128b7cc3995f2bec1fab084b2bad75

AFT bulletin on Covid-19 in Higher Education Settings:

https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/coronavirus_bulletin_highered_022420.pdf

UC’s Comprehensive Guide to COVID-19:

https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/01/uc-guidance-for-uc-locations-concerning-covid-19.pdf

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

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/03/416906/why-experts-are-urging-social-distancing-combat-coronavirus-outbreak?fbclid=IwAR0k0iOTOXu5XcBTPbJXb8uKZ9oGIV5ixTatP89rx6fqZ2Q2WT_ro73JKBQ