I am writing to you today regarding the recent COVID-19 outbreak and the threat it poses to us all as leaders, workers, and patients. As you are aware, the first COVID-19 cases were detected in Michigan this week, and they continue to increase in the US at a rapid pace. It is expected that many more cases will be confirmed in Michigan in the coming weeks.
The government response has been slow, and I know many of you are likely feeling anxious and stressed over what may happen next. It doesn’t help that it has been a challenge to separate fact from fiction; many of us have been left waiting to wonder what steps we need to take.
As your union, we want you to know that SEIU is not waiting around for solutions from anyone, including the government, employers, or political leaders. For the past several weeks, we have been discussing strategies nationwide to protect our workers and ensure that your well-being is secured through the duration of the pandemic. You are our highest priority, and we want you to know you can call on us for anything during this time of need.
As a first step, we are demanding that employers take immediate action for workers, including:
- Paid Administrative Leave for all workers that have been exposed to COVID-19
- All testing and treatment for COVID-19 paid by for employers
- No repercussions for employees notifying their employer if they believe they may have come into contact with COVID-19
- Personal Protective Equipment will be provided by the Employer at an employee’s request.
We are submitting a Memorandum of Understand with these requests to every employer we represent in Michigan. We won’t rest until employers take the needs of our workers seriously, and we will take every measure to ensure that you are safe.
As the pandemic progresses, we will need to adapt to the frequently changing circumstances. We will be in regular communication with all our members about how we are protecting workers and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to remain in constant contact with employers and member leaders to ensure your safety and the safety of your patients. Please keep your Organizers abreast of anything that should arise in your workplaces
Thank you for being a member of SEIU.
SEIU Healthcare Michigan