The following statement can be attributed to SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH President Becky Williams in response to ODRC Confirming Positive COVID-19 Test Result of Correctional Staff Member at Marion Correctional Institution:
Since we first learned of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working with ODRC to make reasonable accommodations to maintain essential operations while ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our members.
The women and men who work within ODRC – including the Adult Parole Authority – are working around-the-clock during this pandemic to keep our communities safe, often without personal protective equipment while transporting inmates, providing care to those incarcerated, and while providing supervision to formerly incarcerated individuals on post-release control.
Like hospital and nursing home workers in the private sector, our Union members at ODRC are concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 at work and the risk that could have for themselves and their families. We are encouraging our Union members to practice social distancing and other personal hygiene practices suggested by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
We are asking Governor Mike DeWine and the ODRC leaders to enforce protections for all state employees continuing to report to work while on the front line of this pandemic. By continuing to work with Union leaders, and the state employees we represent, we can develop solutions with ODRC which provide the best possible outcomes for all Ohioans and keep our Union members as safe as possible while still providing these essential services. We appreciate the inclusive, solutions-based approach that we built with the Governor and his team and ask we continue to be a central part of the discussions that impact our members.