Kaiser COVID leave and PPE update – July 14, 2020

allie-kaiser-covid-leaveOur unity and action is working! 

Kaiser announced they are reinstating our 80-hour COVID administrative leave. This special paid leave is available for employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are sent home with symptoms and waiting for a test result. Now, anyone sent home for these reasons will not have to use their own sick time or PTO. 

Are negotiations still happening around COVID benefits? 

Winning back our COVID leave is a huge relief for those of us who were worrying about how we’d pay the bills if we got sick.  And yes, this will be retroactive back to June 14 when the leave was ended so if your leave banks were inappropriately charged, you can work with HR to get them adjusted.   

However, at this point management is still refusing to renew the expanded childcare and temporary shelter benefits. SEIU and The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have made it clear that Kaiser should reinstate all the COVID related benefits, and add more such as hazard pay and COVID sick time for presumptive cases. So far, Kaiser management has refused. Keep letting your managers know that as essential workers we deserve all these benefits.  

PPE Update

Management has heard our safety concerns and is responding with a new aerosol generating procedures (AGP) PPE policy:

  • All workers exposed to AGPs will soon be supplied with an N95 mask coupled with a face shield. Kaiser has just received 3 million new standard certified N95 masks purchased from BYD Precision Manufacture Co. 
  • Kaiser plans to roll out a conservation method for standard N95 masks called ‘5 by 7‘. Each worker required to use this PPE equipment will be issued five N95 masks to use over a seven (7) day cycle. After each use you will store your mask in a paper bag for 7 day cycle and exchange it for a new one. According to CDC and Cal OSHA recommendations, masks stored for 7 days will be naturally decontaminated. If a mask is compromised in any way, a new mask will be issued. This new process will be rolled out ASAP with “test of change” trials at four California facilities.
  • Kaiser is rapidly seeking third party testing and attestation on the potential mislabeling of gowns and masks as non-medical to ensure they are safe for medical setting usage. Kaiser will then have them relabeled when determined appropriate. 

It’s progress that Kaiser management listened to an important health and safety concern. As this pandemic continues, we have to keep our eyes open for issues in our facilities that put workers or patients at risk. If you see something that you think is unsafe, talk to your steward right away and use the one of the following links to report safety concerns:

Oregon Work Complaint Form  

Washington Work Complaint Form

 

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