I am writing with an important update on our improper practice charge filed with the NYS Public Employment Relations Board and challenging the Court System’s unilateral implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and attendant policies.
PERB Regional Director Manichaikul ruled that the Court System failed to undertake legally required bargaining before implementing the COVID-19 mandate policies and ordered that the Court System reinstate and make whole all affected clerks, with interest. Below is the text of the Regional Director’s order that directed the Court System to forthwith:
Cease and desist from unilaterally imposing procedures that employees must follow in order to be tested or vaccinated for COVID-19;Make whole bargaining unit employees who lost accrued leave, compensation or employment as a result of the implementation of the [Testing and Mandate] Policies, with interest at the maximum legal rate;Expunge all records of disciplinary action taken against any bargaining unit employee for failing to comply with the procedures used to implement the Policies;Bargain with DC 37, CAA, NJDCEA, and [NYS]CCA regarding the impacts, if any, of the Policies; andSign and post the attached notice at all physical and electronic locations customarily used to post communications for bargaining unit employees.
Our attorneys are currently analyzing the decision to determine the appropriate course for the directed negotiations, while we await information from the Court System regarding how it intends to comply with the Regional Director’s decision.
Please be mindful that while we have always believed we would obtain a favorable decision such as this, we anticipate that the Court System may appeal the decision and continue to attempt to ignore our members’ rights to be free from unilaterally imposed work rules.
The Court Clerks Association will continue to fight to protect our members’ employment rights.
Stay safe and well.
Imogene V. Jones