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Friday, August 14, 2020
HGEA: Pay us to 'work' at home again
By News Release @ 4:08 AM :: 2334 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Labor, COVID-19

HGEA Members Organize COVID Party?

HNN Aug 12, 2020: … Two days after a cluster of COVID cases led to the closure of Honolulu Hale, the Department of Health reports the virus may have spread at an employee potluck at the city building ― and that 11 cases are “potentially linked” to the luncheon.

Monday afternoon, Mayor Kirk Caldwell admitted there was recently a large potluck on Honolulu Hale grounds, but denied it was the source of those infections.

Hawaii News Now obtained a flier that many Honolulu Hale employees found inside their inboxes late last month, alerting staff to a retirement party for a member of the city’s purchasing department.

The two-hour farewell event happened on July 24.

That was the same day Hawaii set one of its single-day records, with 60 new cases of the virus ― and health officials were already warning that gatherings among friends, family and coworkers were contributing to the spike.

Caldwell says the party should have never happened and that he just found out about it this morning. Since then, he says he’s compiled a list of close to 30 people who were there ― and that no one on that list had tested positive.

“There was a tent outside. People walked through got their bento,” Mayor Caldwell said. “People said good luck, I really enjoyed working with you, and went back to work.”…

read … What will I do to get paid to ‘work’ at home?

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COVID surge prompts HGEA to tell Departments: Limit physical presence at worksites

News Release from HGEA, August 13, 2020

A letter is being sent to all government jurisdictions today on behalf of all affected HGEA members urging department heads and supervisors to limit the physical presence of employees wherever possible to protect employees, the public and to limit the spread of COVID-19.

This should be done as quickly as possible. Employees who are able to telework should be promptly given that opportunity. 

In addition, HGEA urges the State and counties to use CARES Act funds that are already on hand to properly equip employees in order to facilitate remote work. CARES Act funds should be used to upgrade any department’s IT system that is currently not able to handle employees’ remote work. 

This pandemic is clearly not going away anytime soon and government must move quickly to protect employees and the public while still providing all of the essential services that our community depends on. 

We must adapt government to provide services remotely where possible during the pandemic.

For those vital and critical employees who must perform jobs at their worksites, HGEA demands that the employers ensure that all proper PPE, safety protocols, signage, communication and sanitation protocols be put in place.

In the case of a positive exposure in a department, HGEA demands that the employers urgently notify employees of all potential COVID-19 exposures (without disclosing the positive employee’s name), provide adequate PPE to employees who face possible exposure, and promptly implement thorough cleaning and sanitizing of all exposed areas and provide testing for exposed employees.  

This pivot must be handled promptly and properly in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 to employees, their families and the public. 

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