The past two years have been tough for working people as we try to protect ourselves and our families from a deadly virus while also trying to do our jobs and make a living. This is especially true for health care workers, those whose jobs could never go remote, and those who interact with the public to keep government services running for the American people.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of government workers have contracted the virus and hundreds have died. To honor their sacrifice and commemorate Workers Memorial Day on April 28, AFGE is calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a permanent standard for COVID-19 related safety measures in the workplace.
OSHA issued a healthcare emergency temporary standard (ETS) in June last year to set workplace safety measures for employers to follow in order to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. An ETS is good for six months, and OSHA let it expire in December.
OSHA is supposed to move to a permanent standard, and a coalition of labor unions including AFGE has been pushing OSHA for a permanent standard.
OSHA has been building on the ETS as the basis for the permanent one. AFGE submitted our comments on the ETS in August 2021. OSHA has recently re-opened a public comment period with public hearings scheduled April 27, 28, 29 and May 2.
AFGE has submitted our comments, and our representative MJ Burke with the AFGE National Veterans Affairs Council will testify at a hearing on April 29. The public comment period and hearing are part of the rulemaking process for the permanent standard.
AFGE fully supports a permanent OSHA COVID-19 standard. We’re urging OSHA to:
To watch the hearings, click here.
Click Below to Add the Hearing Dates to Your Calendar: