APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton, President September 15, 2020
WEARING A MASK IS NOT OPTIONAL
DON’T PUT YOUR JOB IN JEOPARDY
As Covid-19 continues to impact Postal Workers, Northland District has implemented a required mask policy in all facilities we represent. This means you are required to wear a mask while working for the USPS. Understanding everyone has personal beliefs on mask wearing and for many it is difficult to wear a mask at work. The mask wearing requirement has been policy which has changed over the course of this pandemic which creates some confusion. Regardless, the present policy is you must be wearing a mask while at work.
Late last week, management started placing workers in emergency placement status who are refusing to wear a mask and I am told they will be issued discipline also for this refusal, putting their jobs in jeopardy. I immediately asked management to give a service talk and put employees on notice of the change and the harsh consequences for refusal to wear the mask. This request was denied with the response is we have given employees plenty of notice they are required, along with working those who have some medical issues with a mask who have been provided a face shield. The employees who are now refusing will be dealt with through the discipline process. So, I am writing today to let you know management is taking a hard line on the face mask issue it mandatory. The supervisors and managers will also face discipline if they are found to not enforcing the requirement. NOTE: You must follow the order to wear a mask from an supervisor.
The Union is required to represent any employee who is disciplined and will do this. However, it will be extremely hard to defend defiance of this order. Please do not put your job in jeopardy.
The Union stands up for safety for our employees. These requirements have been in place to protect the safety of the workforce. While there is conflicting information concerning the wearing of face covering as a deterrent because there is still a great deal to understand concerning this virus. Most scientists who have studied for years claim it is one of the best things which one can do to protect each other. Thus, the requirement to protect your safety. So, at this point we are in support of the requirement. The threat of this virus is not going away and we need each other to get through this.
Last, the liberal leave agreement is still in place. If you are sick stay home. If you think you have been exposed to COVID19 talk with your doctor on how to proceed. I truly believe people who stay home when sick or exposed are helping us in this fearful time.