As result of our meeting with LAUSD last week, the district issued some responses to our questions about work assignments, including some specific guidelines for custodians, community representatives, campus aides, school supervision aides and other school-based staff. This provided some clarity, but we still have concerns.
Sick Leave and Vacation Time
One major issue is LAUSD’s insistence that workers use their sick and vacation time for COVID-19 related absences. We are standing firm that the district must honor the Governor’s order and not force high-risk employees or those without child care to use their benefited time.
We will continue to meet with LAUSD to address these issues. Here’s an update on where we stand now:
Not all workers are expected to physically report to a work location. While everyone is working to ensure student learning and the safety and well-being of our communities, the district agreed that not everyone needs to report to a work location. Supervisors will determine which assignments can be completed at home. If you have a question or concern about your assignment, you should first check-in with your direct supervisor. If it is not resolved, contact SEIU Local 99 by completing this form.
High risk employees (over 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions) or employees who do not have child care for their children ages 16 or younger, should discuss with your supervisor the options for working from home. If your supervisor says that there are no assignments that you can complete at home, report the issue to SEIU Local 99 using this form. We do NOT agree with the district’s position that you should use your sick or vacation time if you can’t work from home.
The district must provide the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees reporting to a work location. If PPE is not available, you should notify your supervisor that you are leaving because the working conditions are not safe. Report it immediately to SEIU Local 99 using this form.
Everyone who reports to work at a physical location should receive either the $100/day stipend if you are working grab-and-go or the $5/hour additional pay if you are working in other areas. This pay is for all regular, provisional and substitute hourly employees, including Teacher Assistants.
Summer Bridge Program
In addition to the issues discussed with LAUSD, we have received several questions regarding the summer bridge program and unemployment insurance. Workers who are enrolled and contributing to the summer bridge program should receive the full amount with matching funds from the state this summer.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
While classified school employees are not eligible for traditional unemployment insurance during the summer, there is a special COVID-19 program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). There are no guarantees but it is possible that you may be eligible to receive funds through the PUA program. You will need to demonstrate that you do not have work this summer due to a COVID-19 closure or issue. For more information and the application form, please visit the state’s Employment Development Department website.
We’ve got much to do as we move forward. Let’s continue to stand strong.