Commonwealth Employee Updates Concerning COVID-19

Have a question? Know of an update that’s not included here? Email us at For additional updates and information-sharing, members can join our Together We Rise Facebook Group!

If you have questions regarding your work location or contract, please contact your Steward or your Business Agent.

Monday, April 27, 2020
We’ll be holding a meeting with PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday, April 30th at 6PM. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please submit any questions you have for the AG by Noon on Wednesday the 29th.

Please register for this meeting via the link below:

Please pre-submit a question for AG Shapiro by Noon on 4/29:

Wednesday, April 15,2020
SEIU Local 668 created an additional closed Facebook group for all CAO/CSC members who are or will soon be teleworking. An issue of our quarterly newsletter, Re:Union, was also released via emails to all members.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
SEIU Local 668
 will be hosting an additional tele-townhall on Thursday, April 16th at 11AM. Please register via this Zoom link and submit any questions by Noon on Wednesday, April 15th.

Friday, April 10, 2020
SEIU Local 668 reached an agreement with the Department of Human Services. An email was sent to all CAO/CSC members outlining this agreement, which begins Monday, April 13th. Members can learn more from our CAO Questions page.

Monday, April 6, 2020
SEIU Local 668 released a full membership email update. If you would like to participate in Thursday’s Roundtable Discussion with Legislators, please register here. If you’d like to take part in Monday’s COVID-19 Tele-Townhall, please register here.

Friday, April 3, 2020
SEIU Local 668 released a Commonwealth-specific member update via email.

Thursday, April 2, 2020
SEIU Local 668
 also released a membership email update.

From the Penn Capital Star: From 668 member Chris Good: COVID-19 in Pa.: Federal, state lawmakers need to step up to protect frontline workers | Opinion

From the New Castle News: From 668 member Cheryl Little: CHERYL LITTLE: Pennsylvania agency leaving thousands of workers at risk

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
SEIU Local 668 released an open letter to DOC Secretary Wetzel, who is not implementing AWS schedules as agreed to during bargaining sessions. We also sent an email update to all members who work at SCIs–if you did not receive that update, please send an email to so we can update our database.

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Delco Daily Times: State welfare worker in Darby tests positive for virus

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Spotlight PA: Laid off workers battle outages, jammed phone lines as Pa. unemployment system buckles from coronavirus surge

WilksRadio: After testing positive for COVID-19, PA Department of Welfare caseworker feels betrayed

Friday, March 27, 2020
From the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services: DHS releases list of childcare providers who remain open.

PennLive: Three Pa. government offices close in Philadelphia due to COVID-19 exposure concerns; ‘This could have been prevented’

Penn Capital-Star: Philly caseworkers take leave, DHS closes offices after COVID-19 diagnoses

Generocity: Employee alleges DHS CAO office has ignored worker safety even after an employee tested positive for COVID-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020

SEIU Local 668 files a class action grievance regarding COVID-19 related leave issues:

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SEIU Local 668 released an additional membership update email concerning COVID-19.

SEIU Local 668 president Steve Catanese put all public sector employers on-notice for the lack of enacted policies to protect all public sector workers here in Pennsylvania via a press release.

From Penn Capital Star: ‘The perfect storm:’ How COVID-19 has multiplied the risk for children in abusive households

Monday, March 23, 2020
From PennLive: Pa. adjusts work schedule for state government employees to address coronavirus concerns, amid other changes

From Penn Capital Star: Sent back to work, state human service workers say their offices aren’t prepared for the coronavirus

Sunday, March 22, 2020
SEIU Local 668 signed a shift staggering agreement for all County Assistance Offices earlier this evening. This agreement will stay in place until either the Governor lifts his order about Non-Essential services, DHS finds additional space for staff in the larger offices to work, or if they’re able to implement telework options.

Friday, March 20, 2020
From Generocity: Union and workers reclassified as ‘essential’ claim that the PA Department of Human Services is endangering their safety

SEIU Local 668 held an Impact Bargaining session with the Commonwealth regarding a number of health and safety concerns our members have been facing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Please view our membership email here as well as an additional update email from that evening. If you are not receiving email updates, please complete this form.

Thursday, March 19, 2020
From the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services: Department of Human Services Restricts Visitation at DHS State-Run Facilities to Protect Health of Residents and Workers

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
From SEIU Local 668: We’re asking all members to complete this short survey so that we can organize all of the health, safety, and security concerns that you’re facing during this pandemic. Please find the link here and complete it as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
From PennLive: Pa. coalition unveils plan aimed at protecting ‘most vulnerable’ during coronavirus crisis

“Members of the 40-plus organizations who partnered with the SEIU were part of the call.” … “The plan also calls for increased staffing at unemployment service centers to ensure quick processing of all new applications. ‘This pandemic is putting extraordinary pressure on Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system. Many workers, like the self-employed, are not even eligible for unemployment benefits,’ said Chris Good, [an SEIU Local 668 member and] a claims examiner at the service center in Harrisburg.”

From SEIU Local 668: Health and Safety Grievance – All Bargaining Unit Members

Health and Safety Grievance - All 668 Members









From SEIU Local 668: DHS Health and Safety Grievance










From the Penn Capital Star
The Penn Capital Star also reported on the reclassification today: COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closed.

“‘But according to Steve Catanese, president of Service Employees International Union Local 668, thousands of state employees started Monday morning as non-essential, and by days’ end were essential.’ 

‘They need to figure out ways that everyone gets benefits because of how many people lost their jobs. They’re right, we agree with them,’ Catanese said. ‘But the fact is that they thought of no potential ways to limit the harm of people going in to do the work.'” Read the full article here.

From SEIU Local 668: Demand to Bargain letter over the impact of COVID-19 on DHS employees


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From SEIU Local 668: Letter to Secretary Miller from Steve Catanese, President of SEIU Local 668




















Monday, March 16, 2020
From SEIU: SEIU President Mary Kay Henry sends letter and policy document to Congressional leadership on how to structure federal COVID-19 legislation that puts workers first 

From SEIU Local 668: Reclassification of CAO workers as essential personnel

From PennLive: Wolf orders statewide shut down as coronavirus spreads; what does it mean?

From abc6: Governor Wolf Extends COVID-19 Shutdown Across Pennsylvania

From The PA Department of Labor and Industry: Pennsylvania Workers Affected by COVID-19 May be Eligible for Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Sunday, March 15, 2020
From PennLive: “‘Telework if you can’: Coronavirus order issued by Gov. Wolf to state workers in Capitol, Dauphin County”

From SEIU Local 668 learned of possible exposure of COVID-19 to OVR and BVS employees at an office in Pittsburgh. We contacted Labor & Industry to discuss next steps to clean and sanitize the office and how we can prevent additional exposure to our members and the public.

Saturday, March 14, 2020
From SEIU Local 668: COVID-19 Mitigation Steps and Updates: SEIU Local 668 remains in constant contact with Governor Wolf’s office regarding the  COVID-19 outbreak in Pennsylvania. As of March 14th, the Governor has issued mitigation procedures for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, and has ordered the closure of all Pennsylvania public schools for a period of ten days.  These steps have been taken in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. Read more.

From PA DHS: OPS Released a Memo stating that DHS is providing cash assistance applicants/recipients the option to choose their interview type during the disaster declaration period. This means TANF applicants may use alternative methods to the traditional face-to-face interviews typically conducted, including phone interviews.

Friday, March 13, 2020
From the Department of Corrections: Department of Corrections Cancels Visits Statewide, Begins Enhanced Screenings of ALL Employees

From SEIU Local 668: First posted on Facebook

From SEIU Local 668: Update email provided to members.

Thursday, March 13, 2020
From OSHA: This set of updated guidelines from OSHA provides employers with information on how to prevent the spread of COVD-19 in the workplace.

Wednesday, March 12, 2020
From Department of Corrections: SEIU 668 learned that all employees, inmates, and visitors moving in and out of SCI Phoenix would have required medical screenings beginning 3/12/19. Shared medical screening informationvehicle transport information, and general update with our SCI Committee and members at Phoenix.

Monday, March 11, 2020

From SEIU Local 668:  Began releasing best practice infographics via Facebook to members.


Friday, March 6, 2020

From SEIU Local 668: Update email provided to members.

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