Good Afternoon Sisters and Brothers,
As you know the Commission has taken steps to force a mandatory vaccination policy on its workforce. We all know that COVID-19 has had devastating impacts on society as a whole and that being vaccinated is the greatest protection against this pandemic. However, the Union cannot abide the way that the Commission has abused its authority and unilaterally circumvented the collective bargaining agreement by altering work schedules and displacing employees. Moreover, to date, neither Montgomery County Government nor Prince Georges County Government has put into place a vaccine mandate.
In an attempt to get the Commission to see that, based on the low number of employees that are not vaccinated, mandatory testing would achieve the goals of not only keeping the workforce safe; but also, would provide the safety and health measures being sought by the Commission. To that end, the Union and the Commission engaged in mediation. Throughout the mediation process, the Commission was unwilling to move from their stance of implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for those not vaccinated. This policy would include employees being placed on leave without pay until proof of vaccination is provided and possible discipline where no proof is given.
Despite the fact that the Union was amenable to a robust mandatory testing policy that would have included disciplinary measures where necessary and appropriate, the Commission did not budge. As such, starting, Monday, November 29th, per the Commission’s proposal, those employees that are not vaccinated will be notified of next steps. For your review, below is the Commission’s last proposal from mediation as well as the letter sent to the Union regarding this issue. The Union wants its membership to know exactly what the Commission is going to enact.
The Union has a pending unfair labor practice against the Commission as we are not giving up the fight in this matter.
The Union is very disappointed that the Commission decided to impose its will on its workforce rather than engage in collaborative bargaining to find a middle ground that everyone could live with and support collectively.