DC37 Statement on Vaccine Mandate

Dear [DC37] Delegates,
 
As promised during our meeting Tuesday night, I want to provide an update on our negotiations with the City regarding the vaccine mandate.
Last night, a judge in Richmond County denied the PBA a temporary restraining order on the mandate. A date to hear the case has been set for November 12, but as we know that is after the City’s deadline of Friday, October 29.
 
This morning, District Council 37, along with other Civilian Unions within the MLC, had a bargaining session to discuss the implementation of this mandate. This was a follow up to the session we held on Monday.
 
Unfortunately, the Mayor and his administration are being completely unreasonable on the timeline for implementation. The Mayor is insisting on maintaining the deadline of Friday, October 29 for vaccination and will not extend the deadline for religious and medical exemptions, which was yesterday at 5pm. At this time, because of the Mayor’s intransigence, we do not have a deal.
Additionally, we continue to raise the issue of the policy not being implemented equally and insist that if anyone gets $500, everyone who has been vaccinated gets the pay retroactively. We await an answer on that.
 
Similarly, we are insisting that members who choose to use an outside arbitrator to appeal a medical or religious exemption denial by their EEO office are treated the same as those who go through the City’s panel. That means all who have cases pending must remain on payroll and continue to work with weekly testing. We await an answer on that.
 
We did get clarity on the issue of retirees raised on Tuesday. If we reach a deal, members who retire will be eligible for up to 100 days of their sick leave balance 1:1.
 
At this time, while negotiations continue, we suggest that members continue to apply for religious and medical exemptions, as desired. Attached please find a list of EEO office contact information by agency. This is the first step for applying for an exemption. If a member has applied and been denied, they can begin the process of appealing at https://www.nyc.gov/vaxappeal. We ask that you please share this information with your members.
 
We will keep updating you as negotiations continue.
 
In solidarity,
Henry Garrido
Executive Director
District Council 37