Our Union negotiation committee has not reached an agreement with the State over the impacts of the Governor's Proclamation. Be assured, we will exhaust all processes available to us while negotiating the Proclamation. At the end of the negotiations, a vote of the membership will occur.
Even as we continue to raise concerns over staffing shortages and problems with the DOC's contingency plan, the State has shown no flexibility around the October 18th deadline. Knowing that working in a prison comes with a certain level of risk, we are genuinely concerned about the State's ability to staff the positions necessary to operate a safe and humane correctional system after October 18th.
If you intend to receive the vaccination, please do not wait. Make a plan, schedule your vaccination, and turn in your proof of immunization as soon as possible. Many members have expressed an interest in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Johnson & Johnson may be available at some DOC facilities now, but we are being told it will be in short supply by the end of September. Again, if you intend to receive the vaccination, please do not wait.
Many of you have received a letter regarding your request for a medical or religious exemption. If you have received a letter approving or denying your exemption, please follow the steps in the letter. We also ask that you notify your local Union Representative of all communication about exemptions and accommodations.
Some proposals our Union negotiation committee has made that the State has flatly rejected are:
- Additional time to become fully vaccinated if the employee's immunization was delayed and the delay was beyond the employee's control;
- The ability for employees to utilize accrued leave and leave without pay to obtain the service credits necessary to reach retirement eligibility;
- Access to limited layoff and recall rights for those that receive the vaccination after October 18th.
We are moving to mediation over the remaining issues and positions preventing agreement and will update you soon.
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