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Fletcher to propose hazard pay, child care support for county’s essential workers

05/03/20

Read the full article by Lyndsay Winkley in the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

The growing coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching economic impacts. To help support essential employees and the region’s most vulnerable residents, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher will present two policy suggestions at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The first proposes that $5 million be allocated from the county’s allotment of federal coronavirus relief funds to support emergency child care vouchers for essential workers and other vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Fletcher said in a letter to the board that many health care workers, first responders and other essential workers are struggling to juggle child care responsibilities as they battle on the front lines of the pandemic. The virus is also disproportionately affecting families who were already grappling with trying circumstances, like those experiencing homelessness or those with children who have special needs.

The policy suggests the money be given to Child Development Associates and the YMCA Childcare Resource Service, which will then administer the funding. The county organizations already contract with the California Alternative Payment Program, which pays child care providers on behalf of families in need.

The second policy proposes that another portion of the federal allotment be used to provide the county’s essential workers with hazard pay. If agreed to, the recommendation could result in a 2 to 5 percent pay bump for some workers. The policy also suggests the county allow employees who are telecommuting to file up to $100 in monthly reimbursements for work-related expenses like Internet access, electricity and printing.