As you know, the City’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy went into effect last week, resulting in many members being placed on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) as of Friday, January 7, 2022. Also on Friday, we received the Employer’s denial of the policy grievance at the first step and advanced it to the second step of the policy grievance procedure. This means we should be meeting with the City Manager within the next three weeks as a final attempt to resolve this grievance prior to advancing the matter to arbitration.

We are establishing new internal processes to manage the large number of individual grievances we expect to arise from the implementation of this policy as well. We have created a unique set of grievance numbers so we can easily keep track of all related grievances and the members impacted. While some grievances may, based upon individual circumstances, lend themselves to be advanced to the highest level of the grievance procedure, others may be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the policy grievance. For example, those who were placed on LWOP simply because they declined to show proof of vaccination or to be vaccinated, but who did not have any particular extenuating circumstances, may be included in a group who would be subject to whatever remedy an arbitrator might award should they find the policy to be unreasonable.

To expedite the process of grievance escalation and determine which grievances will proceed and which will be deferred, we are assembling a standing Grievance Committee. The members of this committee will be educated on the pertinent facts and issues surrounding all the potential categories of grievances arising, such as medical or religious accommodation, privacy rights, etc.

We are also working to schedule a meeting with the City with the aim of streamlining processes between the parties.

If you have been impacted by the City’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy, please contact the Union office at to let us know. You will then be contacted by a steward who will assist you in filing a grievance.

In solidarity,

Warren Williams