FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2021
Teamsters Local 700
Sheriff Tom Dart announced a new policy of mandatory vaccinations for all Cook County Department of Corrections Officers.
Chicago, IL – In August, employers around the country began announcing their intentions to compel employees to receive Covid-19 vaccinations as a requirement of continued employment. Teamsters Local 700 immediately issued a statement then that we fully intend to fight for our member’s right to chose whether or not to be vaccinated.
“It is not only an infringement on the rights of our members,” President Ramon D. Williams declared. “These policies fly in the face of HIPAA laws that protect employees’ privacy. In addition, the idea that employers demand access to employees’ vaccination records is outrageous. We are well acquainted with the invasive and disrespectful policies Sheriff Dart lobs at our Officers, having just wrapped up contract negotiations. However, this unilateral policy represents a giant step backward, and we demand that Sheriff Dart show our Officers greater respect.”
Teamsters Local 700 Vice President and CCDOC Officer Ed Kern is on the front lines of this matter, met with the employer on Wednesday, September 22, and presented questions from members such as:
- Will Officers be allowed to show regular negative Covid test results instead of receiving vaccinations?
- Will Officers compelled to take the vaccine still receive up to 16 hours comp time to recover from adverse reactions to the shot?
- Are Officers who have been re-infected entitled to the 80 hours recovery time regardless of their vaccination status?
- Will Officers who refuse vaccinations be allowed to take a leave of absence?
- Who will be liable for Officers who suffer severe adverse reactions to the mandatory vaccinations?
“It’s disappointing and frustrating to see the courageous men and women at the Jail treated this way,” said Ed Kern. “We are working tirelessly with our legal team to get answers to these questions, and we appreciate the patience of the hardworking Officers as we respond to new challenges of this pandemic.” Local 700 expects to have answers to those questions this week as the situation continues to develop. In the meantime, Local 700 urges members to stay updated via the Facebook Armory Group or contacting representatives at the Compound Office.