COVID-19: Taking Action In The Workplace

UNAC/UHCP is making a difference for our members in this time of crisis. We hear you and we’re here to protect your health and your professional practice.

On the ground in our facilities, union staff representatives and leaders are working with our employers on issues that include the PPE shortage, redeployments, and telehealth. UNAC/UHCP is also reaching out to elected officials, regulatory agencies and other organizations for lasting solutions.

Here is a sample of the collaborations that will keep our members healthy and working, and keep our union strong.

UNAC/UHCP MEMBERS: For details on the items below, please consult your staff representative.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

UNAC/UHCP took the bold move of telling Kaiser Permanente that until personal protective equipment (PPE) is in plentiful supply, the union would not support any effort to deny the use of personal PPE.

Personal use of PPE policies were also clarified at Sharp HealthCare, Maui Health System, St. Francis.

Kaiser Permanente has clarified its masking policies to address guidance on use, type and airborne and droplet precautions. UNAC/UHCP believes that N95 masks should be worn by anyone caring for PUI/COVID-19 patients.

Maui Health System has issued mask guidelines that address our members’ concerns about having adequate protection when providing direct patient care.

Kaiser Permanente (all employees)

COVID-19-related benefit improvements will cover all KP employees, and the employer will be rolling out the benefits to employees by April 13, 2020. Please contact your KP Human Resources departments for details.  Members employed by KP, please read the full agreement here:

The benefits include:

  • Up to 80 hours additional paid COVID-19 leave for employees sick with COVID-19 confirmed by a positive test
  • Childcare grants of $210 to $300 per week based on hours worked
  • Short-term hotel housing

Kaiser Permanente PT/OT/RT

  • Kaiser Permanente therapists who are members of UNAC/UHCP are allowed to voluntarily change hours, days of work and work 10-hour shifts, temporarily to address the situation.
  • UNAC/UHCP staff representatives collaborated with Kaiser Permanente management to have therapists do tele-appointments, which they did not have time to do. UNAC/UHCP intervened and now time allotments for a telehealth appointment matches time allotments of a patient seen in person, and patient service has improved.
  • UNAC/UHCP facilitated tele-health “booths” were created where Kaiser members can conduct tele-health visits while isolating themselves from others. Patients can reduce contact and receive the additional option for patients to receive a therapist’s service.

Remote Patient Room Technology

A new technology system, developed at the Kaiser Permanente Garfield Innovation Center, will be expeditiously piloted at Baldwin Park. The technology will reduce unnecessary contact in patient room by allowing communications outside the room. Caregivers can use an audio feature to hear the patient, even from the nursing station. The technology will have a camera providing a full-view of the patient. UNAC/UHCP is working with the Baldwin Park nurse executive to smooth the transition.

Shower Access for RNs Treating COVID-19 and Investigation Patients

At Kaiser Ontario, RNs who have treated patients with COVID 19 or being evaluated for the virus will have immediate access to showers. Provisions are limited with the possibility of further expansion in secure areas.

Sharp HealthCare

UNAC/UHCP and the Sharp Professional Nurses Network reached negotiated special agreements with Sharp management on COVID-19 polices such as paid leave for those impacted by COVID-19, cancellation and floating, permissive masking, and extension of certification deadlines.

Chino Valley Medical Center

UNAC/UHCP staff representatives coordinated with Home Depot for PPE donations Chino Valley nurses. UNAC/UHCP has advocated for PPE and certification policies.

St. Francis Medical Center

UNAC/UHCP staff representatives coordinated with Home Depot for N95 mask donations to St. Francis Medical Center. UNAC/UHCP negotiated a hospital-wide PPE policy, providing more access to PPE in at-risk areas.

PPE Protection and Education

UNAC/UHCP leadership produced an in-house video on how to properly execute donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), providing our members easier access to training materials. Often employer sponsored materials are only available during work hours when staff do not have time to view it and unavailable at home because access to employee intranet is blocked. With our video, our members can review the proper process to wear PPE and reduce waste.