All of the counties represented by Local 333 will be open as of tomorrow. As our members return to the workplace, we wanted to share some of the guidelines that will now be in place. These new protocols have been put in place to protect you and your coworkers. We are all expected to be the example that the public will follow. The state shutdown did a good job of pounding down the curve and slowing the spread of COVID 19. The following safety precautions are being implemented in the courts to continue to stop the spread of the virus. There is a real possibility of a spike in infections as we start reopening and we must be diligent as we continue to protect ourselves and the people around us from infection.
The union has done safety and health walkthroughs in every courthouse we represent. Working with management we were able to mark the spacing needed for social distancing and identify where plexiglass needs to be installed. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available in every facility and buildings will be cleaned daily. We have full cooperation from the 3rd and 4th Judicial Districts. They will be working with the union to make sure that all of the safety protocols and guidelines are being followed by all employees of every title. To assure as much protection as possible the following protocols are being implemented.
Masks should be available for all the employees. Go to security is you need a mask and they will provide one for you. All employees are mandated to wear a mask at all times while at work. Only employees alone in a private office are allowed to be in a facility without a mask. We have already started distributing washable reusable masks to all of our union members. We are trying to have them distributed to all of our members this week. If you are not scheduled in work this week we will leave on your desk or with you coworkers.
Hand sanitizer should be available at multiple location throughout the facility. If you do not have any at your workplace, please let us know. All members are encouraged to wash their hands several times a day. Our Local was able to get 4oz bottles of hand sanitizer to distribute to our members. We were disappointed when we received them because they have an unpleasant disinfectant smell. It will take weeks to replace them, so we have decided to distribute them to you. We apologize for the less than pleasant smell, but they are still 100% effective.
We have spent the last two weeks visiting facilities with management and measuring the space needed to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Temporarily there is tape marking the six feet apart distance. OCA has ordered adhesive signs that will be used as soon as they are delivered. Chairs have been marked and/or removed and limits are being put on how many people may be in the facility at one time. Cases are being scheduled in adherence to the new capacity guidelines. It will be a little hectic at the beginning as we figure out how to schedule appropriately, but we are confident our members will rise to the challenge, as they always do.
There are some areas where six feet of distance is not available. All of these identified areas are having plexiglass, or some form of barrier installed. Magnetometer posts and clerk widows/counters are the priority for these barriers. They are also going to be installed in courtrooms where they are needed. Court Officers that are using hand scanners will have to operate within six feet without a barrier. That is why N95 masks should be available to them and we encourage those officers to wear these masks while performing this function.
Disinfectant Wipes or Spray Cleaner and Paper Towels
Cleaning supplies should be available in all work areas. We encourage all of our members to sanitize all common areas and equipment prior to using them. The cleaning personnel will not be able to clean individual workstations during the day. We must collectively work together to help stop the spread of COVID 19.
Please let us know if any of these guidelines are not being followed in your facility. It is important that we all work together to keep each other as safe as possible. As we begin to return to work, it is important that we all remember most of us are very visible to the public. We are going to set the tone on how important these safety guidelines are. Now more than ever, it is important for us to present ourselves as professionals. Let us remind OCA just how vital and important we are.
CSEA Judiciary Local 333