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December 01, 2021
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Dec 02, 2021
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Dec 08, 2021
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Dec 09, 2021
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Dec 09, 2021
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Washington Membership Update - Covid Vaccination Mandate
Posted On: Sep 10, 2021

Washington Membership Update – Covid Vaccination Mandate:

As you may have heard the State Workers’ Union recently withdrew their lawsuit and came to terms with the Governor regarding the vaccination mandate.  Essentially, the Union has bargained on behalf of their governmental employee members on a state-wide basis what we are doing daily for our members on a contract-by-contract basis.  The effects bargaining resulted in provisions ensuring that their members had appropriate time to obtain the vaccination if their exemption request was denied, the ability to use their earned leave up to 45 days while they get the vaccination, and an additional personal holiday as an incentive to get the vaccination. 

The terms negotiated were designed to be responsive to the mandate and are consistent with the negotiations and agreements that are currently being negotiated by Local 302 in its public sector Stationary bargaining units.  The Hoisting and Portable side of the house is a bit more complicated (as we have informed members at the membership meetings) given the nature of the Governor’s mandate to the site owners, which in turn is applied to the contractors working on these sites.  Thus, our signatory contractors have not initiated a mandate but rather are responding to the directives from the public agency construction site owners.  Nevertheless, we are doing our best to ensure that our members are represented and, where applicable, we are bargaining with employers to address the impacts of the mandate implementation. 

Based on our recent conversations with the Governor’s office this mandate is moving forward on schedule.  The hospitalization, covid positive tests, and deaths are all peaking at levels at or above the highest levels we’ve seen throughout this pandemic.  We were also advised that the availability of the Johnson and Johnson (one-shot) vaccination is on a drastic decline so the timing for complying with the mandate via the two-shot vaccination option is today in order to be compliant by October 18th.  Obviously, other work options are available outside the state public works arena, but we are seeing more and more local jurisdictions initiate similar mandatory vaccination provisions.  All this to say that we respect and appreciate our members personal decisions with respect to being vaccinated or not and we will do our best to support you. 

In Solidarity,

Daren Konopaski

Business Manager

IUOE 302
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