OCEA is here for you

Dear OCEA member:

In compliance with Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 19, 2020 order, OCEA is further limiting the number of workers stationed at our headquarters at 830 N. Ross Street. The OCEA building has been closed to the public to limit contacts that could lead to a transmission of the COVID-19 virus. What is not being limited in any way is the exclusive representation OCEA staff continues to provide to you and your fellow OCEA members. Please see the graphic below illustrating how to reach all of OCEA’s divisions and services. Every member of our team remains on the job and available through telecommuting.

I also want to briefly recap the actions taken by your OCEA Stewards and Labor Relations Representatives to make sure your safety and your rights are protected in this time of great uncertainty and stress.  OCEA Stewards and workplace leaders met yesterday via teleconference. Their feedback through an online survey provided an important instant temperature check reflecting how our OCEA members are doing as they continue to perform their mission critical work. OCEA staff also developed a tracker of workplace issues where OCEA members from various public agencies provide much needed information about working conditions and challenges. How are measures announced by the County or the Courts, for instance, being implemented and received? Do workers feel protected? Is work getting done notwithstanding social distancing and telecommuting?  We have received hundreds of responses to date from members via phone, email and our website.

What happens next is just as important. Once the information is received and organized, OCEA staff immediately communicates it to County supervisors and executives. This means your voice is being heard directly by decision makers without filtering through layers of management. This important work is going to continue. So is OCEA advocacy on your behalf to local and state political offices, constant communication with you and your fellow OCEA members, and constant communication with allies on city councils and special districts who can impact our issues.

We strongly urge members to contact OCEA by email or telephone for questions, inquiries or to add your concerns. As a reminder, OCEA members can contact their Labor Representative, benefits staff, Velece staff and special events through our website, email or telephone.

The number one mission of OCEA members is to keep the community safe. Many OCEA members are directly on the front lines of this massive health crisis. It is the responsibility of public employers to take the necessary steps to protect the workers who protect everyone else. OCEA is fighting nonstop to protect your health and safety, and it is a privilege to stand with each and every one of you as we meet this challenge together.

In Solidarity,

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager


Publication Date: March 20, 2020