Vaccine Mandate Bargaining Update
No disciplinary action today and no disciplinary action until late November at the earliest.
In the interest of public health, our own health and the health of our families, SEIU 721 strongly encourages all members to get vaccinated against COVID-19. At the same time, we continue to stand up for the interests of members who – for whatever reason – are opposed to receipt of the vaccine.
Wins at the Table
For weeks, LA County had held firm on its insistence that all County employees must be fully vaccinated by October 1 unless granted an accommodation based on qualifying medical reasons or religious objections. And for weeks, your SEIU 721 Bargaining Policy Committee has pushed back, arguing that the County’s proposed October 1 vaccination deadline is arbitrary and impractical in the extreme.
At the 11th hour, the County backed off. In a September 30th negotiating session, the County revised its proposal to eliminate the October 1 deadline. Instead, the County proposes to issue to all non-vaccinated employees sometime later in October a “Notice of Vaccine Requirement”, after which employees would be allowed 45 days to come into compliance.
The County still intends to make the policy “effective” October 1, but the practical effective date – the deadline for compliance – has been pushed back to at least late November. This would be the soonest corrective action would start to ensure you have time to get vaccinated or request an accommodation.
Unfortunately, the County continues to reject the union’s proposal that all employees who are uncomfortable with vaccination for any reason – with or without qualifying medical reasons or religious objections – should be offered a frequent testing option. The County has refused to budge from its rejection of this proposal.
Bargaining will continue on Thursday, October 7 in an effort to reach agreement on a policy that the union can support.