I’m writing to let you know that we have been alerted by some of our members at the Department of Health about their concerns relating to Ebola and their possible role in New York state’s plan to deal with the Ebola situation. We have contacted the PEF Statewide L/M chair at DOH and have been in meetings and on conference calls with the NYS Department of Labor, the AFL-CIO and the Department of Health to try and get answers, information and clarification for our members. The PEF website will continue to be a way for us share the most up to date information.
Please know that ALL health care professionals must be informed and protected. Our nurses and other health care clinical staff in the hospitals designated to receive Ebola infected patients, must be receiving ongoing, up to the minute training from their facilities. The protective clothing and breathing apparatus needed must also be made available. This is the responsibility of the facility/agency. Any deviation should be reported to my office. All agency and local labor/management committees and health and safety committees must continue to discuss the implications for Ebola exposure at all meetings with management. Additionally, all members who serve community clients and families, and indeed all PEF members, should be informed about how Ebola exposure might affect their workplace. To this end, PEF is working to create opportunities for information to reach all members in a timely fashion.
It is important that we hear from all of you as issues and challenges arise. Please contact Jane Briggs in my office: Jane Briggs with your concerns and the concerns of your members.
Susan M. Kent