Members Encouraged to Share Covid-19 Recovery/Return-to-Work Plans for NACWA Peer-to-Peer Webpage

(June 24, 2020) – NACWA is encouraging all of its public agency members to share their pandemic recovery or “Return-to-Work” plans so that we can post them on our password-protected Covid-19 Resource Webpage. The webpage received and continues to receive many visits, but the material posted to date has primarily focused on the immediate response to the pandemic with Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans as the key resources being shared. But now, clean water agencies are shifting rapidly to the recovery or return-to-work phase, with many utilities reaching out to NACWA for information from their peer utilities to help them navigate a complicated gauntlet of issues as the doors reopen, including: 

  • Developing policies for more permanent tele-working; 

  • Providing staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) as they return to the office; 

  • Developing new policies to help ensure the mental health of staff; 

  • Policies for fleet vehicles, including multiple occupancy and fleet cleaning protocols; 

  • Determining propriety of asking questions from staff regarding medical conditions, travel plans, etc., which may be critical to keep workers safe but could be legally protected; 

  • How to conduct contact tracing and ensure proper identification of visitors to offices or sites;  

  • Elevator, HVAC, office and shared space cleaning protocols; 

  • Ensuring staff continue to have the professional development and continuing education opportunities they need; 

  • Going back inside customer households or others’ buildings for inspections and other needs;  

  • Vacation, leave and hazard pay issues stemming from the pandemic; and  

  • Negotiating with labor on changed workforce needs resulting from lessons learned from pandemic-related challenges. 

If you have such policies in writing or memos to staff regarding these or other return-to-work protocols please share them as soon as possible with NACWA’s Toby Watkins so that NACWA can post them on our password-protected webpage and public agency members can benchmark their activities against those of their peers.