March 18, 2020
TO ALL MEMBERS OF LOCAL #41, I.B.E.W.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The current COVID-19 crisis has all of us on edge. This is something that we have not seen before in our lifetime and hopefully, we will never again. Each day brings new developments and adjustments to our everyday way of life. First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself and your families. Follow the directions of the health officials with regards to personal hygiene and social distancing. Limit your possible exposure to large crowds. If you are feeling sick, stay home!
I know that there are many questions with regards to jobsites and the possibilities of them getting shut down because of the virus. The IBEW and NECA have developed the National Disease Emergency Response Agreement (NDERA) for use by our members and contractors. This agreement provides our industry with the ability to react quickly to potential emergencies related to this pandemic. This agreement takes effect immediately:
- Reports having contact with another person(s) who has reasonably believed to have contracted coronavirus or a similar disease
- Has recently returned from a “High-Risk Country” as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC); or
- Presents symptoms associated with the coronavirus or similar disease as defined by the CDC;
The employer shall be permitted to remove the employee from the jobsite and require the employee to obtain a doctor’s release certifying the employee is able to return to work;
- If an employee is confirmed to have coronavirus or similar disease, the employer shall notify all employees who were believed to be in contact with this individual and take actions consistent with appropriate protocols to prevent the further spread of the disease;
- If an employee reasonably believes another employee(s) has met one or more of the above conditions, the employee shall report such as soon as reasonably possible. The employer shall then follow all appropriate guidance and protocols to ensure a safe jobsite;
March 18, 2020
- There shall be no adverse action taken against an employee who refuses to be present at a jobsite so long as the employee believes there is imminent danger and a reasonable person would agree there is a real danger of contracting coronavirus at the jobsite;
- There shall be no adverse action taken against an employee who has been quarantined, or advised to self-quarantine, due to possible exposure to coronavirus;
- In the event access to a jobsite is restricted or denied by the employer or other appropriate public or private authority in response to the coronavirus or similar disease, the employer shall be permitted to temporarily furlough the employees assigned to the jobsite;
- The employer shall not contest any unemployment claims filed by employees temporarily furloughed as a result of a restricted or closed jobsite due to the coronavirus or similar disease, or who have refused to be present at the jobsite out of a genuine belief that being present would place them in imminent danger of contracting coronavirus, or who have been quarantined, or advised to self-quarantine, due to possible exposure to coronavirus; and
- Such employee shall be permitted to return to their original positions with their employer upon the resumption of work on the jobsite and/or their ability to return, without the need of the referral process, and irrespective of whether such employees have signed their local union’s out-of-work list.
If you are put on temporary furlough, your contractor will notify the union hall that you are on furlough and you can file for unemployment. When you are allowed to go back to the worksite, your contractor will notify you and the union hall that you are back to work. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COME TO THE UNION HALL TO SIGN THE BOOK IF YOU ARE PLACED ON FURLOUGH or lay off. If you are told you are laid off and not furloughed, call the union hall and we will put you on the out of work list in order that we receive the call. This agreement is temporary for this specific crisis.
The following is a list of what has already taken place:
- The March union meeting was cancelled
- ALL classes are suspended until further notice
- The Gun Raffle has been postponed
- The Easter Egg Hunt is cancelled
Future cancellations will be posted on our website and Facebook page.
March 18, 2020
Also, in an effort to limit exposure to our staff so that they can continue to serve the membership for as long as possible, the Local Union Office is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. Most things can be taken care of with a phone call or by email and mail. If you need to come into the office, please call to make an appointment. If you have health fund claims to submit, you can email that claim to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Vacation requests can temporarily be picked up directly from the Credit Union. You must still call the union office first to get your balance and voucher prepared.
In the meantime, follow CDC guidelines, take your safety and the safety of your families and co-workers seriously, and know that we will get through this and come out stronger on the other side.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this information provided, please feel free to contact the Local Union Office.
Michael J. Gaiser
MaryG/Mike G – Pandemic Mailing