Hello Brothers and Sisters,
We are writing to you today to keep you informed during this evolving situation. We are working diligently to protect you, our membership, and the communities you serve. Below, you will find the official notification that the City of Long Beach has delivered to us. If you have questions or concerns, please email your Business Rep. We are working closely with the city as this situation develops. Both the city and the Machinists Union are working hard to protect you and your income.
Letter from Acting City Attorney, Tom Modica
Dear City Employees: Your City executive team continues to work diligently on employee safety and preparedness. On Friday evening, all Department Directors convened at the Emergency Operations Center to develop further plans to limit the potential spread of COVID19 (Coronavirus) and modify operations to preserve essential services to the public. This work continued on Saturday, and we are contacting you today regarding the changes, which will be effective Monday, March 16, 2020.
Closures of Major Public Buildings to the Public In an effort to slow community spread of the virus and to help prioritize staffing for critical services, starting Monday (3/16/20), we will be closing inperson services to the public at most City facilities. City Hall will close to the public, as will the Port Administration Building, Water Department Administration Building, Parks and Recreation Administration Building, Energy Resources Administration Building and other major City facilities. Libraries and park community centers also will close to the public. Parks and open space will remain open, as will certain Health Department services, Long Beach Airport and Animal Care Services. Street sweeping, refuse collection and other critical services will continue to take place. For more information on specific closure of services, please see the City’s Press Release on closures at www.longbeach.gov/COVID19.
Continuation of Essential City Services Essential City services will continue, and we will transition as many services as we can to the phone or web. We are asking you to report to your normal work location on Monday, March 16, 2020, if you were scheduled to work that day. If you are sick, please stay home. Please do not bring children to the worksite, and discuss any urgent matters that may impact your ability to report to work as assigned with your supervisor.
Support for City Operations In support of our City residents, we are asking employees to remain flexible and report to work as assigned. Pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act, any person employed by a county, city, state agency or public district in California is a public employee and considered a Disaster Service Worker. As a Disaster Service Worker, you may be assigned to do a specific disaster response job, called upon to assist your Department or other City Departments with their response efforts, or asked to perform your normal duties, depending on department need. This is an all hands on deck situation that requires your continued support and regular attendance.
Alternative Work Arrangements Because this is an emergency situation, we are currently evaluating options, including staff reassignment to emergency response functions. We may be asking employees to help at the Emergency Operations Center, Department Operations Centers or to provide other essential functions in support of critical services during this time. Additionally, we may use alternative work shifts or hours. Telecommuting could be an option, depending on your department’s need and ability to provide services remotely. Your Department Director will be making decisions on who would be eligible for this option. We ask that you remain flexible during this time.
Employees with Work-Related Quarantine If an employee has been directed to self-quarantine by a local health department due to workplace exposure, they will receive compensation (up to 80 hours) and will not be required to use personal and/or sick leave accruals. We expect the Federal Government to provide national benefits regarding COVID-19 related illness and will communicate more about those benefits as information becomes available.
We recognize that our city is experiencing unprecedented challenges while dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and we are asking everyone to please remain calm. Our Long Beach community is known for its willingness to support each other – especially during challenging times.
As we are dealing with the impacts of COVID19 in our community, please help look out for one another by buying only what you and your family needs for the next two weeks. Please work together to support your neighbors and colleagues and help us maintain a safe and calm community.
As your Acting City Manager, I am asking us all to come together as a team to support each other and our entire community as the nation deals with this historic pandemic. I believe these actions are necessary to both limit the spread and address employee safety concerns, while continuing to provide critical services to our community. We will all need to work together during the coming weeks. If you have any questions on this email, please contact your Administrative Officer, Supervisor or Department Head.
Onward and Upward!
Tom Modica, Acting City Manager