Late last week, SEIU Local 668 signed an additional side letter agreement with the Commonwealth over the impact of their COVID-19 vaccination-or-test policy. The result of these negotiations led to an agreement that provided additional paid leave for those who verify vaccination, extended emergency sick leave, ensured that individuals going through the accommodation process are not disciplined while their case was pending, and provided additional benefits outlined in the agreement.
We’re excited about what we were able to achieve here. While no one is mandated to get the vaccine, we urge members to get vaccinated for their own safety and to take advantage of the additional benefits we were able to secure along with our allied labor organizations.
Moving forward, we also have a commitment to continue discussions during bargaining to further explore improving schedule flexibility for our members in 24/7 shops, such as but not limited to correctional facilities and state hospitals, for options such as AWS or flex time where not available.
We’re releasing this information via our website and email to members who subscribe to our virtual communications, but if you have immediate questions please reach out to your Chapter Chair or Business Agent, or send a personal email to Local668@seiu668.org
We continue to encourage each and every one of our members who are eligible to receive the vaccine to please do so to help protect yourselves, your family, and the clients you serve every single day. If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to your doctor.
This new COVID-19 side letter agreement has a number of strong wins for our members, including:
--Five (5) additional paid days of leave for workers who verify their vaccination status
--Three (3) paid hours of leave for each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including any and all boosters
--Continuation of the Emergency Sick Leave through June of 2022
--Ensuring onsite testing for 24/7 shops is paid entirely by the employer
--Confirms that there will be no discipline while someone is awaiting the results of a request for medical or religious exemptions.
--Commitment to continue discussions in good faith towards expanding scheduling flexibility for our members in 24/7 facilities
The agreement we signed on 10/29/21 goes into effect immediately and allows vaccinated workers to receive five (5) paid Leave Verification days to be used between 12/20/21 and 3/31/2022. If any of the unused days remain after 4/1/22, those days will be paid-out in full. These five days are in addition to the one (1) day SEIU Local 668 members received back in June of 2021 for verifying their vaccine status, meaning the Commonwealth is now offering six (6) paid days of leave for any worker who has received the COVID-19 vaccination (or both vaccines if it was a two-dose vaccination).
In addition to these paid days, every worker will be eligible to receive up to three (3) paid hours to receive secondary doses or booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as well continue to have access to the Emergency Sick Leave through June of next year.
Complete information for all of these wins is outlined in the side letter, which can be found via our website or through this link: https://bit.ly/668CovidSideLetter
Again, we continue to encourage every member who is eligible to please consider receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself and your family. We’re excited we were able to win a week’s worth of pay for our members and hope everyone will take full advantage of this statewide win.
If you have any questions please reach out to your Shop Steward, Chapter Chair, Committee Chair, or Business Agent.