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HGEA joins UPW in calling for immediate leadership change and safety improvements for DPS

August 25, 2020

Standing in solidarity with our UPW brothers and sisters, HGEA is calling for an immediate leadership change at the Department of Public Safety, along with safety protocol improvements at Oahu Community Correctional Center, the Honolulu District Court Cellblock, Hawaii Paroling Authority and at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

“It is outrageous that frontline workers in correctional institutions, the cellblock, Hawaii Paroling Authority and at our international airport are not properly fitted with N95 face masks, don’t have clear safety protocols, and are not properly notified when there is a positive case in their facilities,” said HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira. “Continued attempts to communicate with the administration have failed and with COVID-19 surging on Oahu, people’s lives are at stake.”

Our members have lost faith in the leadership of PSD and the Department of Health. For months we have been going through proper channels asking for clear, practical guidance on basic health and safety questions and standard operating procedures related to COVID-19 positive cases, and yet to this day, only vague generalities and Department of Health and CDC guidelines have been provided. Further, despite the Governor’s most recent imposition of another lockdown of two weeks on Oahu, we are getting reports of PSD employees having their telework requests denied.  

HGEA is preparing a class action grievance on behalf of all affected employees. At this point, given the failed response by the department to protect the well-being of its employees and inmates in their charge, we are calling upon the Governor and State leadership to take prompt action to address these concerns in the interest of the health and safety of our entire community. 

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