Update: Re-opening plans for OCFA Headquarters

Today we held a teleconference with OCFA's executive team to discuss plans on re-opening Headquarters. OCFA Chiefs Fennessy, Zeller, Cortez, Ruane and Collins were present.  OCEA representatives Aaron Peardon and Kate Wolf, OCEA Board member and OCFA steward Samantha Soto as well as OCFA Stewards Rich Swanson, John Bowden, Kavin Parikh, Toni Cea and Vanessa Carbajal also attended either via video or in-person.

We reiterated the three pillars of our safety survey which were safety of our members, security for members and their families and stability for our workers.  We shared concerns to make sure that OCFA takes a measured approach to re-opening and not rush into "business as usual." The executive team shared that they agree with this approach, keeping in mind that they also have to plan for running operations. 

Chief Collins shared that the decisions to re-open will be up to Department Directors; however, there will be flexibility and consideration given on a case-by-case basis.  We reminded everyone that our members want to come back to work, but many have personal situations such as being at high risk, living with a family member that is high risk, or having children that are still out of school and/or daycare. We also shared our position that social distancing should remain in place and that masks should be worn when necessary. While managers will not force employees to wear masks, they will not tolerate harassment of those who do choose to wear masks. There will also be consideration given to staggered shifts and temporary flexible scheduling.

Chief Ruane shared that a consultant has come in to address any work space concerns and adhere to the six-feet rule. Sanitizers and masks will be provided to employees, as well as continuing temperature checks. Chief Zeller stated there is no set date to open to the public. When the public is allowed to come in, they primarily will be doing business with CRR. Chief Smith shared that they are installing protective screening at the public counters, will require masks for the public and will still check their temperatures.

Again, the message to the executive team was to be deliberate, thoughtful and flexible. We will get through these tough times by moving forward together every step of the way. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to share directly with OCEA Stewards, staff or with your chain of command

In Solidarity,

Aaron Peardon and Kate Wolf
OCEA Labor Relations Representatives

Publication Date: May 14, 2020