City Workers Face Reduced Workload Due to COVID-19

The union that represents city workers says that approximately 500 workers received notification on Friday that they would be furloughed beginning today.

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The San Diego Municipal Employees Association, the union representing many city workers, says they filed a grievance against the city over the weekend because of furloughs the city was set to implement on Monday.

The head of the union, Mike Zucchet, told NBC 7 the furloughs were in violation of the city's contract with the union and the city's charter.

A spokesperson from the city says that around 800 employees of the city's workforce work at recreation centers, pools and libraries that have been closed because of Governor Gavin Newsom's stay at home order.

Those employees have received three weeks of paid administrative leave up to this point and now the city is implementing new rules from the federal government.

Full-time workers are entitled to up to two weeks of paid sick leave for a COVID-19 related reason. They can also get up to ten additional partially paid weeks classified as family or medical leave for a COVID-19 related school closure. Workers can also tap into their vacation time if they want to keep getting paid.

The city says they have also asked those affected workers if they'd like to volunteer for other jobs like working at the new homeless facility at the convention center.

Attorneys from the union and attorneys from the city were scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to discuss the grievance that the union filed. Zucchet says he doesn't know how the new rules will impact workers benefits or whether they are eligible to file for unemployment.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said that the city of San Diego is on track to lose $109 million by June 30 because of the coronavirus.

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