Ducey encourages teleworking: Huckelberry says 6,000+ employees must return to work!

Chuck Huckelberry has gone rogue! Last week we reported that the Pima County Administrator demanded that employees return to work beginning next week without consulting managers, the elected Board of Supervisors, or even the sham of a task force stacked with a who’s who of Chamber of Commerce businesses. Board of Supervisor Chairman, Ramon Valadez was particularly surprised because on Friday, after hearing from those who saw our post from last week and many in the labor community, he assured constituents in an email that the county would continue to provide telecommuting under the following circumstances:

1. Employee has a compromising condition recognized by the CDC,
2. an employee has a child (under 18) that is affected by school or day care closure,
3. employee is 65 years of age or order
4. the employee has a family household member with a compromised medical condition as recognized by the CDC”

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Email from Chairman Ramon Valadez to constituent.

But then on Monday, Chuck Huckelberry released a detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) memo detailing employee guidelines for returning to work. Absent were any of the provision for tele-commuting that Chairman Valadez had assured the labor community would be in place.

In response, Valadez called An emergency meeting of the Board of Supervisors for 9:00 am Wednesday May 13th. A memo from Chairman Valadez to the county administrator was released to the public adding an agenda item to the emergency meeting. It asks for clarification on the conflicting messages of requirements for return to work and tele-commuting.

According to Huckelberry’s FAQs, employees would be forced to use their limited Paid Time Off in the form of sick days, vacation days or emergency family time rather than tele-commute if they are at risk, have family members at risk, or have minor children who may not have care due to child care and school closures. Many of the FAQs are worded in a hypothetical, “should the Governor’s stay-at-home order be lifted” but became veritable this afternoon as the Governor announced that the stay-at-home order would expire on Friday.

In his presentation, Ducey announced recommendations to “Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger” that included
“Continue to encourage telework.” While Pima County grapples with how to open safely, it is unfathomable that Huckelberry’s policy for the employees for whom he is responsible is more reckless and dangerous than Ducey requires.

Let’s hope the emergency meeting called for by Chairman Valadez will provide some better guidance for more than 6,000 county employees who are afraid to return to work.

If you wish to contact your supervisor, their information is below. Check this map to find out which county district you live in. Encourage them to follow the recommendations of Ducey and allow tele-commuting to continue.

Ally Miller, district1@pima.gov, (520) 724-2738
Ramon Valadez, Chair district2@pima.gov ,(520) 724-8126
Sharon Bronson, district3@pima.gov, (520) 724-8051
Steve Christy, district4@pima.gov, (520) 724-8094
Betty Villegas, district5@pima.gov, (520) 724-8126.