‘Modified’ City of Chicago Vaccine Mandates Upheld By Arbitrator

To the Teamsters Local 700 Membership:

On December 8, 2021, Teamsters Local 700 and the other Unions of COUPE presented their case in an arbitration against the City of Chicago over its employee vaccination mandate policies. On December 15, 2021, we received the Arbitrator’s final and binding decision.

In his ruling, the Arbitrator denied our grievance and, instead, upheld the City’s vaccine mandate policy with modifications. Here are a few key points from the arbitration award that our city members should take into account:

  1. First Shot by December 31, 2021: Employees will be deemed in compliance so long as they get their first shot (J&J, Pfizer, or Moderna) by December 31. In other words, employees now have until December 31, 2021, to get their first shot and will NOT be placed in an unpaid status before that date.
  • Second Shot by January 31, 2022: If employees choose the 2-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, they must get the second shot by January 31, 2022, to comply. In other words, if an employee got their first shot by December 31, 2021, and their second shot by January 31, 2022, they will have complied with the policy and will NOT be placed in an unpaid status.
  • If an employee has made a good faith attempt to schedule and receive the first shot by December 31, 2021, the employee may present evidence of that attempt to be excused for some short delay past the December 31 deadline for the 1st shot. The same Arbitrator will resolve disputes on a case-by-case, expedited basis.
  • An employee who `submitted a Religious or Medical exemption application by December 8, 2021, shall be excused from the vaccination requirement until the City makes a decision about the requested exemption . If the application is denied by the City, the employee shall have six weeks from the date of receipt of the denial to comply with the “vaccination requirements.” 

Additionally, the Arbitrator ordered the City to have at least one bargaining session by December 27, 2021, with Teamsters Local 700 and the other Unions of the Coalition to “resolve any issues that have been raised between the parties or as a result” of his decision, and he “retains jurisdiction” to resolve any ambiguities or other issues arising from his decision.

As previously stated, Teamsters Local 700 maintains our position that individual members should be given the option of vaccination or regular testing. We will continue to take every action to protect members’ rights. Stay connected with us on social media and teamsterslocal700.com for the latest news and updates regarding the subsequent arbitration proceedings.

Stay Safe. Stay Strong. Stay United.

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