Classified Employees’ Voices Are Heard in School Closure Guidelines Issued by Governor Gavin Newsom

SEIU Local 99 was part of a partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom that also included teachers, school boards, superintendents and principals that worked together to set-up guidelines for how we will work together to ensure instruction, student services, and safety all continue during school closures.

The state guidelines specifically say that “All pay and benefits for K-14 school employees shall continue through the 2019-2020 budget year … This should include temporary, hourly, exempt and non-exempt, as well as probationary employees…”

The guidelines also say that the school districts should work with unions to determine what essential services are necessary and  that “special consideration” should be made to ensure the safety of workers with dependents or with higher-risk conditions for COVID-19.”

Additionally, the guidelines state that vacation, sick days or other accrued leave should not be deducted for taking time off if you or a family member is sick due to COVID-19. This also applies if you need to “self-quarantine to secure your health or the health of someone in your household. “

The guidelines also specifically state that school districts should negotiate with union members over any additional duties workers may be asked to do during this crisis.

Districts also must ensure that workers have “personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended by public health officials, including, but not limited to, gloves, face masks, hand soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant, for all open classrooms, workspaces, or assignments.”

Finally, the guidelines say that union members “should be treated as partners regarding information gathering, developing plans, and decision-making.”

Read the full language of the state guidelines.

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