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Supervisor Fletcher's Policies Will Help Essential Workers During COVID-19

05/04/20

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher is fighting to give additional financial support to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, May 5 the Board of Supervisors will consider policies authored by Supervisor Fletcher to grant hazard pay to frontline County employees, and make $5 million available for childcare vouchers for essential workers.

Supervisor Fletcher hosted a virtual press conference on Monday to discuss the policy proposals.  He was joined by Kim McDougal, Executive Director of the YMCA Childcare Resource Service and Elsa Gonzales, a mother and Healthcare Interpreter for Tri-City Medical Center (Here is an unedited version of the zoom virtual press conference held today

“Some professions during this global pandemic have the difficult responsibility of running towards the sound of danger, and our frontline and essential workers are those people,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Co-chair of the County’s COVID-19 Subcommittee. “To reward their selflessness the hazard pay and emergency child care voucher policies provide them with more financial support for their courage and sacrifice as  they help us battle this public health crisis.”  

Hazard Pay - County Cares: Fighting for Our Frontline and Essential Workers 

Since March 19, about 7,500 San Diego County employees are deemed essential workers.  These employees are still coming in to work to engage with the public and interact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 or Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19. These jobs include public health nurses, probation officers, deputy sheriffs, home healthcare, behavioral healthcare, eligibility services staff. 

These workers are on the frontline every day, and Supervisor Fletcher is proposing a three tier, percentage increase, and select monthly reimbursements.

  • Tier 1: A 5%  salary increase for County employees who are working directly with COVID-19 positive individuals and PUIs. 
  • Tier 2: A 3% salary increase for County employees who are engaging the public and/or clients and could be interacting with COVID-19 positive individuals or PUIs. 
  • Tier 3: A 2% salary increase for County employees who are being required to report to work and are at risk of exposure due to interaction with coworkers.
  • Plus, County workers who are teleworking can submit receipts for up-to $100 in monthly reimbursements for work-related expenses including, but not limited to internet access, telephone, electricity, printing, and other expenses necessary to do their job. 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security funds (CARES ACT) would be used for the hazard pay and would be effective retroactively from March 19 until December 31, 2020, or once the State stay at home orders are lifted.        

Funds for Childcare - Supporting Emergency Childcare Vouchers for COVID Essential Workers      

Healthcare workers, first responders and employees of essential businesses are working daily to protect us, and many have to now pay for child care because children are not in school. Supervisor Fletcher’s policy is to allocate $5 million of County of San Diego CARES ACT money to support “Emergency Childcare” vouchers for essential workers and vulnerable populations.  

Under the Supervisor’s policy, the County will partner with YMCA and Child Development Associates to administer the funds. These entities have been distributing vouchers from funding that was made available from other programs. They will use the same administrative, parent eligibility criteria and program guidelines detailed in the California Department of Education Early Childhood Learning and Education Division Management Bulletin.

The vouchers should remain available until the funds are fully exhausted or by December 30, 2020, whichever comes first.