Published: March 20, 2020

SEIU 503 is working quickly to make sure that workers’ voices are not ignored as employers, government agencies and policy makers roll out COVID-19 plans. It’s times like these that we’re thankful we have a strong union that can respond and make sure our voices are heard.

We will be adding information and resources to this page as it becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do if I’m worried about exposure in my facility? A: If you are worried about exposures in your facility you should reach out to your DNS, union steward, and/or infection control specialist. They would be able to give you information specific to your facility.

Q: I had to stay home or was quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure or positive test. Will I get paid? A: It depends where you work. At Avamere, our largest nursing home employer, we signed a letter of agreement to ensure that workers will be able to access a paid time off (PTO) pool benefit, before using their own PTO. At other nursing homes, workers may have to use their own PTO. Unemployment benefits, detailed below, are also available to help anyone impacted by COVID-19 and rules around unemployment have been loosened to help people temporarily out of work due to quarantine or child care issues.

Q: Where can we get PPE? A: There is currently a nationwide shortage of PPE. Our union is doing everything we can to push the federal Coronavirus Task Force and our local leaders to act. Please sign our petition here.

Have a question you don’t see answered? Submit it here. 

Child Care

If you are continuing to work during this public health emergency and need child care, please call 211info to get connected with a provider as soon as possible. We’ve put together a guide for SEIU members who are trying to apply.


Unemployment Benefits

Governor Brown has issued an executive order loosening the rules around unemployment to help people who are quarantined or temporarily out of work due to COVID-19 – this includes people who need to stay at home to care for a child. Claims can be filed at Oregon.gov/employ or by calling 1-877-FILE-4-UI (1-877-345-3484).


Community Resource Guide

With information on state and county resources, food assistance, low cost healthcare, childcare and more, our resource guide is an attempt to pull together all the resources in the state that are available to people impacted by COVID-19.


Family First Coronavirus Response Act: Paid Leave

On April 1, 2020 a new federal law will go into effect that millions of workers the right to take paid sick leave and paid family medical leave to deal with the Coronavirus. However, due to pressure from corporate interests, and some politicians, the law leaves out many workers. Click here to see if you can benefit.


Letters of Agreement

SEIU 503 has signed Letters of Agreement – which are like a short term contract –  with several nursing home employers covering things like hazard pay, expanded time off and workplace safety issues. Click here to see if your employer has an “LOA” with your Union.


Fact Sheets & Information

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): There is a critical shortage of PPE in Oregon and around the county. Governor Kate Brown directed all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. We are doing everything we can to fight for access. Please contact your organizer if you don’t have access to PPE. Every story helps us advocate.
  • 211 is the go-to public phone number to get information about Novel Coronavirus and referrals to programs for food, shelter, health care and more. CALL 211 or 1-866-698-6155; TEXT your zip code to 898211 (TXT211); EMAIL help@211info.org.
  • Visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 website for weekly public updates about how many people are being monitored in Oregon, as well as sharing updates about how Oregon families can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • DHS is publishing regular updates and information for facility-based care providers (nursing homes, AFLs, memory care, etc) on their website.
  • Governor Kate Brown is posting updated news and resources, including the latest information on school and business closures, on her official website.
  • Ten Steps for preventing Coronavirus: in English and Spanish
  • Regarding the Coronavirus and xenophobia — read this article in TIME magazine, and this one from the Los Angeles Times.