Regular Testing for Healthcare Workers!
After months of urging by SEIU-UHW and other union healthcare workers, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance to hospitals that makes California the first state in the nation to expect acute care hospitals to test their employees on a weekly basis. Check out the guidelines here.
Share this Healthcare Hero Bill of Rights on Facebook:
COVID-19 is a grave threat across our state and nation, especially for frontline healthcare workers. In California, tens of thousands of healthcare workers have been infected by COVID-19 and hundreds have died from the disease. We are the workforce leading our state and nation through this pandemic— and we demand these rights on the job to protect our patients, ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Safe, Fair Vaccine Distribution
- Healthcare workers should have priority access to the vaccine, and the vaccine should be free for all who receive it.
- Access to the vaccine should be equal for all healthcare workers, with no distinctions based on job title.
- There will be no roll-back of PPE standards, COVID leave, workers compensation
protections, and other safety standards as a result of a vaccine being made available.
Strong Facility Safeguards
- Tightly controlled facility access, including temperature checks and symptom screening for everyone who enters.
- Areas where COVID-19 patients and patients under investigation are located should be isolated and clearly marked.
- Physical distancing maximized throughout the facility, including appropriate modifications in break/meal locations and in departments where workers are in close proximity.
- Pre-visit testing of all patients coming in for scheduled
Personal Protective Equipment for All
- All healthcare workers, including service and technical workers, have access to all necessary PPE — and facility policies guarantee this right.
- Our facility maintains a 30-day supply of PPE on hand, including N95 respirators, face masks, isolation gowns, eye protection, face shields, and gloves.
- Transparency from management about the facility’s PPE distribution policy and ongoing input from workers about its effectiveness.
- Airborne isolation precautions, including N95 respirator masks/PAPRS/CAPRS in all close interactions with
confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients and for any staff present during aerosolized procedures.
Strong Support from Management
- Policy on protecting pregnant employees as well as high-risk staff, such as those over 65, with asthma, or otherwise immunocompromised.
- Resources to assist employees with childcare challenges.
- Increased mental health resources and support services for healthcare workers coping with exhaustion, trauma, and stress.
- No layoffs, furloughs, or other cuts to worker hours should be implemented.
- Robust staffing to ensure patients are cared for and workers are safe.
- Relief staffing to ensure caregivers can take time off and recharge.
Safe Protocols for Exposed Workers
- Immediate notification to all employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Immediate and free testing of all exposed workers — even if asymptomatic.
- No loss of pay, leave time, benefits, or seniority for any worker quarantined due to exposure at work.
Respect for Risking Our Lives
- Full protection of our jobs, wages, and benefits.
- Regular communication from hospital management in multiple forums to provide updates, reinforce prevention protocols, and combat misinformation.
- A strong worker voice in all protocols, plans, and decisions involving COVID-19 safety measures.
- The right to speak out and advocate for our patients’ and coworkers’ safety without fear of retaliation.