Dear LAUSD Bargaining Unit Members:
As reported yesterday, we, along with our Labor Partners, had an opportunity to address the school closures with the District, and specifically, how our members will be impacted. Although we are far from finished with these discussions and will continue to be available to the District throughout the weekend, we wanted to be sure to keep our commitment to update you as soon as possible. As the following will show, the District still owes us a lot of answers to important issues.
HIGH RISK EMPLOYEES
Any employee who is considered “High Risk” may work from home and be reported as RG or, if your position is such that you cannot perform your regular duties at home, you may stay home under MSND (Misc. Natural Disaster). “High risk” is defined as:
- 60 yrs of age or over
- Has a pre-existing medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or immune deficiency
- Pregnant women
Effective Monday, March 16th, all LAUSD campuses are to be closed. The District has asked all school principals to report to their school sites on Monday morning from 7AM-10AM to ensure that no students are inadvertently dropped off. On Wednesday, 40 Family Resource Centers will open throughout the District. We are unsure which employees the District expects to be on campus or what role they are expected to serve. We do know there is an expectation that there will be at least a member of the custodial team and a food service employee with a valid ServSafe Certificate at each Family Resource Center.
Plant Managers/Assistant Plant Managers
The District has asked you to report to work to sanitize the site and have it ready for occupancy in two weeks. They see this as an opportunity for Maintenance to work at school sites unobstructed; contractors will also be on campuses. Building and Grounds Workers and School Facilities Attendants are also being asked to report to work.
School Administrative Assistants
According to the District, you will need to come in 1-2 days a week to perform payroll or other financial functions. They have not specified which specific days, but we reminded them Classified payroll was already entered and most of Certificated is negative; therefore, there shouldn’t be a need for you to report to work We also asked if payroll may be performed downtown by Payroll Staff.
Food Service Managers
Food Services Division has asked for volunteers to work at the Family Resource Centers from 7:00 AM -2:30 PM. We have received assurances the volunteers will be paid for an entire 8-hour shift. According to the Director of Food Services, there will be a set up like a fast food drive-thru that will allow food to be handed to individuals with limited contact. If weather prohibits this, there may also be a walk-up window of sorts. No one was able to answer our questions about what steps, if any, will be taken to ensure those presenting themselves are healthy or otherwise uninfected, other than to state that hand sanitizer will be readily available.
Other Job Classifications
We are aware that we have school site members who are not listed here. To date, it has been suggested that you are to remain at home. However, this is a fluid situation and may change. Please stay tuned.
We were told that District bus drivers are to report to work to clean and sanitize busses and yards, deliver meals, complete accident investigation reports and participate in mandatory training. We did ask about the inconsistency in directives over trainings; how can we cancel them in one area, and yet, mandate others to participate in another? There was no definitive response, although there may have been a suggestion that these are online trainings. This means our Transportation members are expected to report to work as usual.
Other Job Classifications
We are frustrated over the lack of attention being paid to buildings, like Beaudry, where more than 250 employees gather daily. We believe this fits the description of “large gatherings” and are hopeful the District will eventually listen to the overwhelming message we are sending which is to close all offices and treat all employees equally.
The District has stated that “Schools are closed, not the District.” We firmly reject this claim when similar conditions, and particularly threats of exposure, exist at non-school sites. Our frustration grows when we learned that all UTLA members at non-school sites will remain home with pay. Once again, we are stressing to the District that Classified employees are being treated inequitably.
We have shared your concerns and frustrations with the District. They have acknowledged the inequity in allowing one group to remain home while the others are being asked to report to work under difficult circumstances. We have started bargaining with the District on what we refer to as “Inequity distribution.” Prior to this pandemic, we had already proposed contract language for our Plant Manager brothers and sisters who are constantly called on to report amid threats and natural disasters without additional compensation. The current situation proves our point to the District that we are not treated fairly. The acknowledgement from the District is but one small step forward—we are demanding more money.
YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES ARE THE TOP PRIORITY
We know you are conscientious employees, the proof being in the role you play as supervisors. We know your commitment to the students of LAUSD is endless and we are honored to represent you. But we also know you are scared. We hear it when we talk to you and see it in your emails. You are fearful for the safety of your families; you have children at home for the next two weeks or month with no one to care for them. We are here to tell you that your families need to come first. If you have no one to care for your children, you need to make that known to your supervisors and reach out to us if you need assistance. If there is a way you can work from home, offer to do so. If you have a high risk loved one at home; take steps to ensure their safety.
If you can report to work without undue hardship, do so. The business of the District may be slower in these next few weeks, but it will get done. We are working on contract language that we hope will incentivize you to report to work in light on this pandemic. We will be in communication as things develop.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 572