Is State Union Workers ‘Deal’ With Inslee Over Vaccine Mandate Substantial?
Despite a lot of noise, the reported 'deal' between the state and it's workers union is not really a huge deal.
Gov. Inslee, in a move seen as an abuse of power by even some labor unions such as SEIU, still gets his way with vaccines for state workers.
MyNorthwest.com and other media outlets had reported that emails they obtained through various sources showed Gov. Inslee's administration attempted to make religious exemptions as difficult as possible for state workers.
Now over Labor Day weekend, we've learned a deal has been struck. Here's what will happen.
It will not change the Oct. 18 get fully vaccinated or lose your job mandate, but will allow a worker whose exemption request is denied to use up to 45 days of paid or unpaid leave to get fully vaccinated--even if it exceeds the deadline.
If a worker has filed for an exemption (mostly religious) by Sept. 13 and it is still being reviewed on Oct. 18th, they will not lose pay until it is adjudicated--even if it takes them beyond 10-18.
Another clause in the 'deal' that still has to be officially ratified is that workers who are unvaccinated can retire by the end of the year, and they can use their paid or unpaid leave until then. They just have to file proper paperwork by Oct. 18th. So in layman's terms, workers can choose to retire rather than get a vaccine and will have some wiggle room.
Already critics, especially GOP legislators, are saying this is window dressing, and does not really address the issue of workers being forced to abandon a personal medical decision in favor of keeping their job.