As result of our meetings with LAUSD, the district has issued a memo with answers to some of our questions about work assignments. While it provided some clarity, we still have concerns and continue to meet with the district. Here’s an update on where we stand now:
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. The Governor’s order extends until June 30, 2020. As new orders and rules for the re-opening of schools are made, you can be assured that we will continue to meet with LAUSD to review and provide input on their plans.
Not all workers are expected to physically report to a work location. While everyone is working to ensure student learning and the 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 and Child Care Issues
Workers who are 65 years or older or who have pre-existing medical conditions or 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 determines that there are no assignments that you can complete at home and says you must use your leave time, report the issue to SEIU Local 99 using this form.
Masks and other Personal Protective Equipment
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 work because the 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. The district has stated that the additional $5/hour will be paid next month and it will be paid retroactively.
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 will receive the full amount with matching funds from the state this summer. However, if you accept a work assignment from the district, you will only receive the amount you have contributed. Keep in mind that funds from the summer bridge are intended as a safety-net and you will ultimately earn more if you are working.
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). 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.