September 30, 2021
This is another in our series of Eblasts keeping you informed on the City’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy. On August 25th the City published Ordinance 187134 mandating that all City employee and contract employees must be vaccinated for COVID-19. We attached is a copy of the Ordinance to our September 9th Eblast. Although the Ordinance became effective August 25, LIUNA 777 along with the Coalition of City Unions, currently is in negotiations over the effects of the City’s decision to implement the policy.
Due to an escalation in the City’s implementation of collecting vaccination status and in reaching to discipline for both the failure to provide vaccination information and for failing to comply with the vaccination requirement, LIUNA will be filing for Impasse in relation to the effects negotiation and filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge on the policy.
In our last effects bargaining meeting with the CAO’s office, the City notified the Coalition that on October 1,City Departments will be issuing a communication to all employees advising that all City employees must respond to the vaccination status inquiry by October 19th. Any employee who fails to respond at all to the status inquiry by October 19th will be subject to possible discipline beginning with a 5-day suspension. The City also will Notice employees that any employee not vaccinated by October 19th (this includes anyone who has not responded to the status inquiry and those who respond advising that they are not vaccinated) also will be subject to discipline beginning with a 5-day suspension. Because we have proposed no discipline for any matter related to the Vaccination Policy, and the City has not engaged in good faith bargaining in response, we will act on behalf of the membership and file an Unfair Labor Practice charge.
What about employees who have requested an Exemption? Any employee who signed up on the initial City link for a Medical or Religious Exemption will not be subject to this October 19th deadline and will be covered under the mandatory testing program until their exemption application is approved or denied.
What about me, I had COVID and my antibodies are as good as the vaccine? If you contracted and recovered from COVID-19, you can apply for an exemption through Medical exemption process. The City will review, on a case by case basis, any employee seeking a Medical exemption on the basis of having COVID-19 antibodies. There is no guarantee that all COVID-19 recovered employees will qualify for the medical exemption. But, the City agreed with us that such employees may seek the medical exemption.
As we continue to identify in our Eblasts, your LA Chapter Board is focused on the continuing effects bargaining and making sure that your rights are protected. At the point of the City’s latest move to begin discipline-related coercion, we are filing Unfair charges as the best way to protect our members’ rights. We continue to focus on protecting the rights of our individual members and our unit as a whole in response to the City implementing this policy, and we are focused on the legal landscape because we want to make sure that we are actively protecting everyone’s rights in this important area. Although we have achieved protections through the effect bargaining process, e.g., the City agreed to our proposal that it guarantee to all employees designated sick leave for time spent getting vaccinated and for any time off due to any negative reaction to the vaccine as the current California law expires today—we will fight using the Unfair Practice process for protections the City is unwilling to provide through negotiation.
We recognize that the mandatory vaccination issue is critically important to our members, and as your representatives, we are advocating for your rights and will continue to do so. We continue to receive requests for information by individual members and will continue to respond to those requests. There will be more to come, and we will keep our entire MOU 12 family informed as this matter develops. Please share this response with your fellow MOU 12 members.
Esteban Lizardo, Business Representative
David Yuen, LA Chapter President
& Principal Detention Officer, LAPD
Art Sweatman, LA Chapter Vice President
& Tree Surgeon Supervisor, Street Services