February 1, 2021

Dear Colleague, 

State Offices Directed to Reopen No Later Than February 1, 2021. CalHR notified departments this week to reopen any closed state offices and reestablish any services suspended since December, consistent with health and safety information. They were directed to maintain telework for at least 75% of employees; and to maximize teleworking to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. You can read the notice here.

As CAPS has reported in the past, departments are required to notice the union at least thirty (30) days prior to implementing any return to office policy plan, to allow for Meet-and-Confers, should they be necessary. CAPS continues to remind departments of this requirement. 

As a reminder, CAPS contends that any reopening strategy should include: continued current and previous telework agreements, alternate work week schedules and using these to ensure reduced foot traffic, promoting physical distancing for those who need to be in the office, adding physical barriers between low walls when physical distancing cannot be guaranteed at all times, ensuring PPE is available for all employees on-site, ensuring field safety protocols are established that are created with the assistance of public health officials, and emphasizing the need for staff to stay at home when sick.

CalHR’s instruction to departments states, “departments should continually assess workplace risk and adjust when needed. As a reminder, the Division of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA) adopted emergency temporary standards for COVID-19 prevention and response in the workplace. Please refer to the materials provided in December to assist you in complying with the standards.” CAPS shared the OSHA standards in a CAPS Alert in December

CAPS continues to thank all our State Scientists for serving the public, and keeping California running throughout this pandemic. We hope you and your family and friends stay safe and well in these trying times, and that the roll out of safe, effective vaccines brings as much hope to you as it does to us. 

Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on our communities and the world, all CAPS Alerts have been sent to all State Scientists in Unit 10, members and nonmembers alike. These regular communications are a privilege typically reserved for CAPS members. CAPS feels this information is too important not to share with nonmembers; however, we ask that you consider joining today. We are stronger together. Help us continue to advocate on behalf of all State Scientists.

Now is the time for unity and solidarity. Join CAPS to ensure your voice is heard. CHOOSE UNITY! CHOOSE STRENGTH! CHOOSE CAPS!