We have some good news. UPS will pay up to ten days of sick leave to Teamsters who are diagnosed with COVID-19, living with someone with COVID-19, or have been quarantined by a government agency, medical professional or UPS. The company will also make regular pension and health and welfare contributions for these hours of paid leave.
Under the agreement, UPS Teamsters can use all sick days, vacation days, and personnel days after the 10 days of paid leave are exhausted.
Teamsters Win Paid Sick Leave.
UPS has agreed to provide 10 days sick leave for workers affected by the coronavirus emergency.
Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
Are you living with someone with COVID-19?
Have you been quarantined by a government agency, medical professional or UPS?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then you qualify for the new paid sick policy.
Further, UPS agrees that there will be no discipline for absenteeism due to COVID-19 related issues. Teamsters covered by Teamcare are eligible for Short-Term Disability benefits if they are under a physician’s care or have been advised by a physician, teladoc or state agency to self-quarantine.UPS employees need to contact Aetna to report their disability.
Teamsters 623 will continue to demand that UPS address unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
What Does Your Sup Say?
We want to hear from you. Teamsters have rightly worried about showing up to work and potentially exposing themselves to the virus. They are also worried that they will be disciplined for protecting themselves and their coworkers. UPS has said that they will not discipline workers for absenteeism regarding the virus. But some members have heard different reports from supervisors. Some sups have encouraged members to use vacation time or file for FMLA if they miss work due to the crisis.
We want to know what your supervisors are saying when you ask them about this outbreak. Please fill out this form to let us know what you are hearing.
Below are some resources that can help you understand your rights, UPS's policies, and the government's guidelines to keep you safe.
What Does The Government Recommend?
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has offered the few guidelines that they encourage all workers and employers to follow:
- If you are sick, or if you have symptoms related to the virus like coughing and fever, do not go to work.
- If you get sick at work you should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.
- Employers should ensure that sick leave policies are flexible.
- Employees are encouraged to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Employers should provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace and ensure that adequate supplies are maintained.
- Employers should routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.
- Employers should provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
What Does UPS Say?
UPS has published a webpage with guidelines for workers. UPS says:
- Clean your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, unless you seek medical care.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- If a UPS employee experiences symptoms such as fever or respiratory infection, they are required to seek medical treatment immediately.
While UPS has created an emergency sick-leave policy they have not communicated it to employees. And the company still has not provided our members with proper sanitary products to protect themselves. UPS must do more to ensure our workplaces are safe and clean.
Further, the agreement between UPS and the Teamsters is available on our website in more detail. You can find that agreement here.
What Does Your Contract Say?
Your contract provides strong language to protect workers from unsanitary and unsafe conditions in Articles 5 and 18. Article 18 Section 1 says the following:
"Under no circumstances will an employee be required or assigned to engage in any activity involving dangerous conditions of work or danger to a person or property or in violation of a government regulation relating to safety of person or equipment."
If your work-area is dangerous due to clear contamination of the coronavirus or due to it being a gathering place of large numbers of potentially infected people, UPS cannot expect you to work and you should not be disciplined for your absence provided you properly document and report your case. Teamsters Local 623 is currently filing grievances to protect workers from unsafe conditions and unjust discipline. We also ask that UPS communicate clearly what its emergency response to this outbreak will be to all workers.
As Teamsters we will protect our sisters and brothers and we will come together in solidarity to get through this crisis.