President’s Message – May 2020

Message from the President graphic

Dear Member,

As you may know, labor continues to have weekly calls with HR, Public Health, and Safety regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and Marin County’s response, as both an employer and a County.  We wish to acknowledge and thank Dean Joyner, the County’s Safety Officer, for joining these calls to provide more details regarding the County’s preparations for reopening. 


The County’s testing capacity has increased and there will be open self-referred testing available for all county employees up to once a month on a voluntary basis. Employees may self-select which testing site to go to (either at the Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall test site or at the Canal Test site).  Test results are generally available within 48-72 hours.  Should there be a need for testing following exposure, there will be allowances made in addition to the once-per-month testing. For more information click here.

The County is looking at potentially having members of the public and a limited number of staff at the Civic Center and other County work sites in order to assist the public in accessing additional services as of June 1. This is simply a targeted date for some phased reopening. Any reopening will be gradual and calculated in accordance with recommendations from Public Health and through discussions with labor. As the County looks toward moving into a phased and safe reopening of businesses within the County as well as more services at the Civic Center and other County worksites, we continue to advocate for safe working conditions for all employees. Telecommuting, where possible, will continue through much of if not all of June. 

Where limited reopening or return to the office will occur, we continue to work with the County on safety concerns and reopening in a slow and phased manner. To that end, we have raised several safety concerns and worked with the County to ensure the following:

  • Staggered shifts and/or staffing of weeks on and off to reduce numbers of employees in shared spaces; staggered telecommuting to assist with this
  • Site-specific plans for each building and/or department from Public Health
  • HVAC filtration and airflow in buildings, including best practices for reduced contamination (HEPA filters, bringing outside air in, less recirculation of air, direction of air flow)
  • Sufficient supplies of PPE for employees
  • Sufficient supplies of cleaning products and cleaning/disinfectant protocols
  • A plan for sanitization and cleaning of offices and surfaces, including who will be performing these tasks and orientation and training for staff in these procedures
  • Plans and procedures in place for elevators, bathrooms (including touchless operations where possible), kitchenettes, stairwells, and other shared/common spaces
  • A plan for decontamination of a worksite after positive exposure, including information from the contracted service provider that will be performing this work
  • A protocol in place for staff following a positive workplace exposure (e.g. self-quarantine)
  • Sanitization stations for hand sanitization
  • Consistent and bilingual signage regarding face coverings, set-backs for proper social distancing, and reminders on proper hygiene practices for the public and workers
  • A safety kit available for public-facing counters that include face coverings, hand sanitizers, and other PPE for use by the public (for example, if a member of the public forgets to bring a face covering)
  • Plexiglass partitions for public-facing counters (counters have been measured and ordered for most public-facing counters from a local vendor; CDA counter and Probation counter are still in progress of ordering due to unique layout and needs)

Temperature checks before entry into work sites for employees and members of the public are still in discussion but no decision has yet been reached

We will meet again next Wednesday to obtain additional information regarding the progress and timeline for these safety measures, including a discussion regarding specific departments that may or may not be looking to bring back staff into the worksite.  There will also be a special Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 outlining the Marin recovery plan. You may watch and participate in the Board meeting on the County’s Facebook page. (Click here for instructions on how to participate virtually.)  We have advocated that Marin join its neighboring counties in having a labor representative on the Marin Recovers Working Group as well as to make sure labor representatives are consulted with and involved with the various County work groups that are discussing specific departmental reopening plans in accordance with the above safety concerns and protocols.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.  

In solidarity,

Your MCMEA Board