COVID-19 Memo Archive
This correspondence is to update you on the latest developments regarding the unprecedented actions taken by the Unified Court System (“UCS”), as well as the status of the labor charge currently pending before the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”).
UCS served several of the Union’s members with termination notices earlier today. We have and will continue to challenge UCS’ decision to terminate our over-worked and under-paid brothers and sisters based upon UCS’ unlawfully implemented vaccine mandate, and its discriminatory denials of requests for religiously-based and/or medically-based reasonable accommodations. During our continued challenges to UCS’ actions, we have reminded them that, while the UCS decision-makers were in lockdown throughout the pandemic, our members who are now facing termination risked their lives, worked without adequate PPE, endured exposure to the virus in the courts, and many times contracted it.
Second, it is no coincidence that this week’s termination notices coincided with the first trial date at PERB. Throughout these proceedings, which continue on April 12th, the Union has ensured that our members’ voices are heard; their rights protected, and all affected members should be made whole.
Finally, please know that we are taking any and all necessary actions to assist our brothers and sisters subjected to these unlawful terminations by demonstrating that the UCS cannot pillage us of our right to bodily autonomy or strip us of our solidarity.
Stay safe and well,
Imogene V. Jones
We are writing to update you on the latest developments regarding actions taken by the Unified Court System (“UCS”) Vaccination Committee (“Committee”), and specifically, denials of requests for religious and medical accommodations and letters from the Committee seeking additional information.
Some members who have applied for reasonable accommodation exemptions from the vaccine mandate reported to the union that they have received determination letters from the Committee indicating that their exemptions have been denied. Others have reported that they received an intrusive questionnaire from the Committee seeking additional information. We’ve asked Pitta LLP, the Association’s legal counsel, to determine whether such denials and the supplemental form comply with the federal, state, and local laws protecting individuals against workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. NYSCCA will continue to fight to ensure that the committee complies with the law and conducts a full review of each accommodation request.
NYSCCA’s Board of Directors intends to meet on November 22, 2021 to discuss the options and recommendations provided by Pitta LLP for challenging any such denial or supplemental form that fails to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. In the interim, however, members who receive a supplemental form should request additional time to respond.
For additional questions about the exemption process, please contact your NYSCCA delegate. Stay safe and well.
On Friday, our case was heard before Judge Adam Silverman. Our case was not consolidated with the other court unions, however our case was heard simultaneously. Judge Silverman denied our request for injunctive relief and stated there was no irreparable harm. Our attorneys are determining our next course of action, and we remain hopeful that we will prevail. So while the mountain is still rough and hard to climb we will continue to press onward and upward. As the need arises further updates will be provided.
Stay safe and well.
As we are approaching the start of the vaccination mandate we want the membership to have an update as to where things stand as of now.
Whereas this union is aware that management has a right to determine the policy and procedures of their agency, they must still negotiate and bargain in good faith with all unions in the implementation of the same.
This union has availed ourselves of all our legal remedies, however, there is no guarantee that any of the outcomes will be in our favor.
We are aware of the harmful rhetoric and hate speech through social media and interviews that have been flowing these last few weeks. This union does not condone these actions and believes it has been a detriment to resolving the improper practice we believe that has been occurring. We remind our members what social media can and has done to various employees of this agency, and we ask all our members to refrain from creating more chaos and preventing any resolution to bear fruit. Please always be mindful of the destruction that can occur with just a few words or a single action. Always comport yourself professionally, with dignity and respect, if you want to receive the same.
For members who are seeking a medical or religious exemption, you have until 5:00 PM on Monday, September 27, 2021 to submit your forms. We suggests you wait until then to submit, allowing any outcomes on pending litigation to clarify the direction that all parties must take or change the time frame on this policy. Please make sure all your forms are completely filled out and all documents requested are attached. Do not be denied for failure to complete a form or submit a document.
For members who are choosing not to be vaccinated regardless of any outcomes or circumstances, please do not resign or leave of your own volition. All employees are entitled to due process as it relates to any disciplinary matter. Force your employer to preclude you from reporting to work and document all communications surrounding it. Resigning or leaving of your own volition denies you the ability to seek recourse or recompense in the future.
We will continue to advocate for the best interest of our members to ensure that they and their loved one are protected.
Stay safe and be well.