* From Speaker Madigan’s chief of staff Jessica Basham…
Good morning, members –
Please see the information below, which I shared with staff just a bit ago.
Many of you have asked about suggestions and guidelines for the re-opening of your district offices. While your office may wish to mimic some of the guidelines I plan to put in place for the Office of the Speaker, your offices are each unique and also more public-facing. The following are some suggestions for your consideration:
· Regarding your staff, develop a schedule that blends in-office and remote work, in order to reduce the number of staff in the office at one time.
· Meet with constituents by appointment only, if a remote (video or call) meeting is not possible. Provide face coverings for members of the public who come into the office.
· Limit the number of public that can be in a waiting area at one time.
· Share information (on your website, social media, newsletter, and/or posting at your office) about your protocols regarding meeting with constituents.
· Refrain from inviting large groups to visit the office.
· Provide access to face coverings and sanitization products for staff, and add additional cleaning responsibilities to staff’s assigned duties.
As always, you will choose how and when to make operational changes for your district offices. The points above and below are suggestions for your consideration.
If you have further thoughts about these plans, or ideas that you’re developing for your offices, please share them. As we navigate these uncharted waters, I’m happy to share them with the whole caucus for further consideration.
Take care and be well,
* Memo to staff…
Good morning, staff –
First, thank you to everyone for working almost exclusively remotely over these last many weeks. As the State enters into Phase 3 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois re-opening plan, the Office of the Speaker (the “Office”) has been reviewing the public health guidance to develop a plan for safely return to the workplace.
Beginning June 8, 2020, employees of the Office are directed to report to their offices in Springfield and Chicago on a limited basis, while continuing to work remotely for the remainder of the work week. Each staff member will be required to be in the office for 12 hours, unless otherwise directed. In the coming days, your supervisor will be in touch to discuss shift assignments. Shifts will be arranged in such a way as to minimize the amount of staff physically present in the office at any one time in order to facilitate social distancing.
The following safety precautions are being taken to support the work of the Office in this next phase of operations:
· A cloth face covering will be provided to staff members. Staff should wear a face covering at all times when coming within 6 ft. of another person, and at all times when coming to and from the office or walking around the office space (e.g., to and from the restroom or break area).
· Staff members should perform a daily temperature check before coming to work. Alternately, staff members may visit the on-site paramedic (Capitol Room 206, 8a-5p Mon-Fri) to have their temperature taken. Those with an elevated temperature or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should not report to work.
· The Capitol and Stratton Buildings will remain generally closed to the public, unless that person is accompanied by a state employee. Staff are discouraged from taking any in-person meetings; instead, meetings should continue to be conducted remotely whenever possible. If interaction with a member of the public is necessary (e.g., a constituent meeting), those should be done by appointment only.
· Only a limited number of people should ride elevators at once, to maintain social distancing. Guidelines, which may differ depending on the elevator size, will be posted at the elevators.
· The janitorial staff will be working additional hours to continue a robust sanitation protocol. They will be supported by the Secretary of State janitorial staff, who will be returning to the office full time beginning Monday, June 1.
· Additional hand sanitizer stations have been added to the buildings.
· Plans concerning the Bilandic Building are still under development; however, staff should anticipate a requirement to wear a face covering, as well as limitations on public access and elevator capacity.
· Staff members who report to the Bilandic Building and are reliant on public transportation will be eligible for reimbursement of parking expenses for their required shifts.
Next week, we will have an all-staff call to review more specific safety precautions and answer other operational questions.
Thank you again. Take care and be well,
Jessica Basham, Chief of Staff
Office of the Speaker
Illinois House of Representatives