Originally Posted by wprebeck
The agency is required by both contract (that they willingly signed, mind you - it's not like we can strike, so they delay and delay during contract talks) and OSHA standards to provide certain items. We are not supposed to be forced to buy items that our agency is mandated to provide.
I agree. That is ridiculous. You have a job where you have the potential to be exposed to deadly pathogens, you have a contract that states the employer will provide necessary safety equipment, and they do not. Providing potentially inferior equipment is likely not what is in the contract. Even if the other gloves may provide the same protection, I can see where requiring approved/tested equipment is necessary.
While I don't see that as an issue requiring a union (I can see ways to fix the issue without the presence of a union), I can see where they can play a role with stubborn (and unfortunately legally-protected) employer. I could definitely see suing them for breach of contract, liability for exposure to deadly pathogens, etc.
The whole thing sounds penny-wise and pound-foolish (what do they think is going to happen when somebody catches HepB or C or HIV or whatever while wearing non-certified PPE- especially when the wrong PPE was supplied? Smells like liability to me).