March 26 update: Our response to COVID-19

Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,

The ongoing efforts by all of us to protect workers from COVID-19 have helped expedite the transition to telework for many of our members providing nonessential services. Some employers have shown real leadership on this and by providing the support and protective equipment for workers deemed essential to safely do their jobs. In other bargaining units, we continue to demand employers take additional actions immediately to protect workers.

We want to hear from you! If you have concerns or questions, tell us using this official MSEA-SEIU survey form. We especially need to hear from you if you believe you can telework but are being denied the opportunity to do so by your supervisor.

Under the newly enacted federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act summarized in this 2-page document, all public employees will have access to expanded to additional leave related to COVID-19 as of April 1. We’re urging employers in our bargaining units to immediately implement the provisions of the new federal law requiring the state to grant everyone 80 hours of sick leave and not wait until the April 2 deadline. Under that law, employees are eligible for an additional 80 hours of paid sick leave, which can only be used in certain circumstances relating to COVID-19, including if the employee is subject to a quarantine order, has been instructed to self-quarantine, has symptoms and is seeking diagnosis, or is caring for someone who is quarantined, self-quarantined or has symptoms and is seeking diagnosis. Additionally, it applies if the employee has a child who is unable to go to school or daycare due to COVID-19. This leave may not be at full pay, depending on the reason for the leave. Another law expanded access to Family Medical Leave to provide partially paid leave for employees caring for a child under 18 who is unable to go to school or daycare due to COVID-19.

State Employee Health Insurance Health Premium Credit Update: Due to COVID-19, the Office of Employee Health and Benefits announced it will be extending the Health Premium Credit Program through September 30, 2020. Employee Health and Benefits will maintain the Health Premium Credit effective 7/1/19 for all health plan members currently receiving the credit until September 30, 2020. This will allow employees who have not had the opportunity to obtain their health numbers or vision visits to meet the criteria for the 2020 Health Premium Credit Program. Employees who have completed the Health Premium Credit through 11:59 pm on April 30, 2020, will receive the credit effective July 1, 2020. Also, Anthem has provided these Coronavirus COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for participants in the State Employee Health Insurance Plan.

We know many of you are dealing with the challenges of teleworking and providing for your families, particularly those with school-age children. We’ve compiled this list of COVID-19 Solidarity and Hardship Resources; it includes childcare options for essential employees.

Stay informed:
Our Frequently Asked Questions; we’re updating it regularly.
Our website
Contact the MSEA-SEIU staff
Contact the MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors
Contact the MSEA-SEIU Officers

We’ll follow up with new developments.

In Solidarity,

Dean Staffieri
President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989

Updated: March 27, 2020 — 3:49 PM