AFSCME Local 4041 demand worker safety to be prioritized during COVID-19 crisis

LAS VEGAS - Harry Schiffman, an electrician at UNLV and President of AFSCME Local 4041 released the following statement today:  

“As the union for Nevada state employees, members of AFSCME Local 4041 are advocating for the safety of all state workers during this critical state of emergency around COVID-19. The duties of many state employees are considered essential, and workers continue to report to state facilities to provide the public with state services. However, in some agencies, the state of Nevada has failed in prioritizing the safety of its employees.  

Over the last three weeks, since Governor Sisolak directed state agencies to wind down in-person services, AFSCME leadership and union reps have been advocating for enhanced safety precautions for essential state employees that must continue their duties in-person at state facilities.

On Thursday March 19, the union requested the implementation of a standardized screening process for all staff and visitors who enter state facilities. We also requested further guidance on paid administrative leave as vulnerable workers continue to be denied this leave.  

We are still waiting on a response from the administration on these measures which will ensure the safety of state employees and the public we serve.  

With reports of a state employee at High Desert State Prison and residents at the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home testing positive for COVID-19, it is now urgent that the state address the safety concerns of employees.  

As front-line workers, state employees continue to put their health, and the health of our communities, at risk if they are not provided with appropriate procedures and equipment to keep them safe. When our communities need us in a time of crisis, public service workers show up and continue to provide vital services for Nevadans. It is in the best interest of our communities that state employees are provided with the appropriate safety precautions needed for these challenging times.”