As you know, on August 10 the King County Executive announced that the County will be requiring COVID vaccinations as a condition of employment. As such, your Union along with the Coalition of Unions engaged in impacts bargaining over the last several weeks. Many of you have reached out raising a spectrum of concerns and we have used those conversations to inform us in negotiations.
This week, we were able to achieve an agreement that addresses many of your concerns.
- Any separation of employment will be treated as an “involuntary separation.”
- Represented employees involuntarily separated will have access to a Loudermill hearing with a Union Representative in attendance.
- An extension may be granted for those that can demonstrate they have one vaccination prior to the October 18 deadline. Employees not subject to the Governor’s Proclamation, therefore only subject to Executive’s Order, will be permitted to work during the compliance period.
- Members will not cover the cost of the vaccine, will be afforded the ability to inoculate while on duty, and additional leave for side effects.
- COVID Leave will be granted up to 80 hours for a COVID related need – 40 hours of which are able to be dedicated for when an employee must stay home due to their child’s school or childcare facility being closed due to COVID, or to care for a family member who is sick with COVID, where the employee is unable to telecommute.
- Employees have two years to be rehired into their former position (if available) following separation.
- Employees who submit notice of intention to separate or retire from employment by December 31 shall be able to use paid leave beginning October 19.
The Unions reserve and do not waive any contractual or legal rights to challenge any separation from employment or the Emergency Order and/or Proclamation in general. While there are still several components of this process that will be playing out over the course of the next few months, we are committed to representing our members every step of the way.
- We recommend that you get vaccinated. This is the best defense we have against a disease that is wreaking havoc on our community.
- We recommend that you report your vaccination status. You can do this several ways but the easiest, most efficient way is through NeoGov. For more information, please click here.
- We recommend that you seek a religious or medical exemption if they are applicable to your circumstances. Please start this process as soon as possible. Also, please keep in mind that an exemption that is granted does not guarantee that an accommodation can be made.
We know these last 18 months have been extremely challenging for you and your family. We are all in uncharted territory here, but we care deeply about protecting your employment and also your safety at work.
If you have questions or need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Shop Steward or your Union Representative.
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