A Message from our President, Fausto Sabatino

Greetings, hope you and yours are well,
          We just met with OCA about different issues and the reopening of the Courts.  Looks like here in the City the reopening will be last. The facilities necessitate changes in order to ensure the safety and health of workers and the public.
          Their plan is to bring in 20% incrementally of the workforce at a time, with a rotation. We will be doing inspections of the sites before opening.
          These are just some of the things being worked on:
  • Guidelines for exposure control, reporting new exposures, testing and restricted return to work policies.
  • Wide distribution of PPE, gloves, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes/cleaning supplies.
  • Staff should be trained in the proper use or re-use of respirators (face masks).
  • There will be NO children allowed in the court buildings.
  • There will be changes to FMLA. There will be more flexibility, providing additional reasons for additional excused time. More details will follow.
  • Management will share with the Unions the list of work that has to be done in the buildings.
  • Elevator guidelines must be established.
  • The virtual courts will continue.
          The Court is waiting to hear from the governor regarding CPLR 180.80, since there are no grand jury proceedings, and if the governor does not extend the waiver, live preliminary hearings must be held.
          If there is temperature monitoring, it will only be for the public.  If they want to test the employees, it will have to be negotiated with the unions.
          Court Reporters will require partitions between themselves and witnesses or anyone testifying.
          Court Interpreters will require communication equipment, and safe interview areas, including within the Department of Correction. The union will recommend new and updated equipment.
          Clerical staff will require frequent and thorough cleaning of equipment and work stations.
          The size of the conference rooms must be changed to observe social distance.
          For our City members, we are still working out plans with the various agencies.
          If you have any questions or concerns, please send to [email protected].
In solidarity,
Fausto Sabatino