VICTORY: Expanded COVID-19 Benefits in Contra Costa County

We have been doing everything we can in our union to defend the health and safety of all our members — members who are working on the front lines in the workplace, working from home, or standing by for disaster service. Many of us are already risking our health to keep our county services running; we will not risk our economic security as well.

Through our advocacy, we have won major new COVID-19 benefits for our members. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has agreed to guarantee continued income security to county employees through the month of May.
 
Here are the major victories for Local 21 members:
  • Every non-essential employee, whether deployed for disaster services work or not, will receive full pay through May 31 without use of existing accruals. 
  • Every employee will be granted an additional 64 hours of sick leave by the County, on top of 80 hours of federally mandated emergency sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), to ensure that all essential County workers who are not able to report to work will maintain full wage replacement without use of existing accruals through May 3rd.
  • Essential staff who are unable to work from May 4th through May 31st will receive full-pay through use of their accruals, including added sick leave, emergency sick leave, expanded FMLA at 2/3 pay under FFCRA plus integration if desired, and/or using management admin leave or other available accruals. If any essential staff run out of accruals and are unable to work, they will receive half pay with full benefits through May 31.
  • County will continue to prioritize obtaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers, first responders, and essential employees that might otherwise have direct contact with COVID 19 individuals.
  • County will continue to prioritize getting available equipment to allow those employees who may be at high risk, including those over 65 or pregnant to work from home or other remote locations. 
We encourage you to read the CAO’s Letter to Labor Partners and Q&A for Employees on Use of Leave for more details, as this is a complicated agreement.
 
These policies are the result of our powerful coalition with eleven other County unions. This quick collective action is only possible because of the relationships we built with our fellow workers and County Administration through our last contract campaign.
 
We believe that the board is committed to working with us and applaud them for their leadership and acting quickly to implement these emergency benefits. Our union coalition is working hard to ensure that these benefits or other comparable protections continue for the duration of the pandemic.
 
This crisis will not be over in a month, but these new policies buy us precious time. Every day we flatten the curve gives us time to prepare our frontline health care services and potentially stave off the worst outcomes for our communities. As our fiscal crisis intensifies, we must do everything we can to make sure that the County does not balance its budget at the expense of county workers and public services. 
 
Now more than ever we must continue stick together to defend our members and our communities. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Lead Representative/Organizer, 
Sean Stalbaum.