Service Center Update

As of 8/31/2020, some of the Service Centers ongoing requests have been the following:

  • Permanent plexiglass installed
  • Full-Time security at all locations 
  • Permanent plexiglass installed
  • Maintaining the same level of appointments until there have not been any new cases of Covid-19 for at least two consecutive weeks
  • Preserving remote work into 2021
  • Hotspots/WIFI reimbursement for all employees working remotely including call center staff specifically
  • Hazard pay for onsite workers

During the Service Centers Meet and Confers staff have brought up numerous suggestions and insights regarding what difficulties Service Center workers have faced while working onsite and at home with the pandemic. For the most part, management has been very receptive to those suggestions, but we have not always seen our suggestions become implemented after our meetings have ended. When we have brought up questions regarding preserving remote work and maintaining the same level of appointments, we did not receive any concrete answers from management on what their plans are going forward which is very concerning. The union has also mentioned to management that it is unclear for staff on how to proceed or if they are supposed to proceed when customers cannot or refuse to wear a face covering. Only after the union offered to help create the face-covering procedure manual was one being shared with managers and is going to be posted in each Service Center to be shared with all staff. Despite offering appointments for over two months now, we still do not have permanent plexiglass and full-time security at each Service Center location. Instead of security guards, Hennepin County has approved funding for navigators to be at each Service Center location directing customers to wear face coverings, where to make an appointment, and checking in customers with appointments. The Service Centers are also planning on expanding services into existing locations such as Ridgedale, Brookdale, and North Hub that were previously used by other departments in Hennepin County. In recent news, an individual from the Vital Records Unit who works closely with the Government Service Center staff has tested positive for Covid-19. GC staff share the same break and lunch rooms with VRU staff which has been very concerning. At our monthly Meet and Confer in a couple of weeks we have created several questions to ask HR and management what they are planning to do in the future to help keep Service Center Staff safe among other questions at our September monthly Meet and Confer.