Published: March 18, 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.

Letter of Agreement with DAS

A letter of agreement is like a short-term contract with a specific purpose. When the outbreak began, we moved quickly to sign an LOA with DAS in order to protect workers’ financial security and health.

Click here to read the state LOA and the updates that affect your job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are people going to get hazard pay?  A: Not at this time, neither our contract or the LOA address hazard pay.  We continue to work on addressing the difficult working conditions for essential staff, and will keep you informed of any updates.

Q: What does the governor’s new “stay home” order mean? A: It means that most state agencies will be closed to the public except by appointment and/or online/phone service, and all workers whose jobs are suitable for telecommuting will be allowed to telecommute.  Your worksite may or may not close completely, it’s possible that some worksites, even if closed to the public will remain open for workers.  If that is the case the agency is required to appoint someone to make plans for proper social distancing.  If your worksite closes completely you will receive up to 2 weeks of paid administrative leave. 

Q: What is the difference between medically-mandated quarantine and self-quarantining. A: Medically mandated means your doctor or primary care provider directed you to stay home. In these cases, if telecommuting isn’t an option, you will be on paid administrative leave.  Self-quarantine is when you are choosing not to go to work physically.  This could be for a variety of reasons. In these cases, you need to use your own leave, borrow against your future leave, and/or request donated leave.

Q: Which agencies are closing? How is this being decided? A: Each agency, in coordination with the Governor’s office, determines whether a particular agency/office remains open or closed.

Q: How do I appeal a Telework denial? You can use this form (needs to be downloaded) to file an appeal with the Labor Relations Unit or call our Member Assistance Center at 1-844-503-SEIU (7348) for help filing an appeal. 

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

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.


Federal Stimulus Package

Congress passed a record $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill, the CARES Act, to help our nation recover from the coronavirus crisis that was signed into law on March 27th. Find out what the federal stimulus package means for SEIU members in Oregon here.


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).


Healthcare and PEBB Benefits

PEBB has enacted a temporary rule for the next 6 months. For this period of time, you do not have to work 80 hours within the current month to have your health coverage extended through the end of the following month. This is to ensure that people on leave are not at risk of losing their benefits. PEBB also has a number of resources available through the Cascade Centers (EAP) that can help support members and their families.


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.


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.


Additional Resources

  • State agency employees should click here for updates from their employers.
  • 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
  • State workers have access to free crisis counseling through cascade centers employees assistance centers. Call: 800-433-2320 -Text: 503-850-7721 – Email: info@cascadecenters.com.
  • 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.
  • 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.