Over the last two days, PPOA, together with the County Coalition of Unions (CCU), has participated in lengthy meetings, well into the late evening hours, with the County regarding the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
As described in the PPOA update of 08/24/21 (click here to read), executives of the Sheriff’s Department recently received the anticipated County communication over PPOA’s objections of the previous day.
On 08/25/21, the Sheriff’s Department distributed an even more confusing synopsis of the County’s intentions, to all of its employees, not just those affected by the CA Department of Public Health vaccine mandate, which went into effect on August 23, 2021.
An additional meeting was held this morning where the County and Sheriff’s Department acknowledged the inappropriate communication as evidence of a “plan” to demonstrate efforts to comply with the timeline of the CA Department of Public Health mandate. After negotiations, an agreement was reached with the County and Department that they would provide further clarifying language to be distributed in the very near future.
Without going into tedious details, these negotiation meetings have demonstrated that the County and its Departments are not fully prepared to implement the Executive Order in the near future as planned. These last two days of negotiations have identified many concerns, including:
- Numerous contradictions within their own documents;
- Security concerns regarding the new Fulgent Genetics vaccine/testing tracking software;
- The time restrictions and unavailability of resources for members attempting to comply with being “fully vaccinated” by the proposed deadline of October 1;
- The substantial lack of resources within each County Department to process the anticipated submission of voluminous exemption applications, and
- The continued conversations of alternatives to discipline
PPOA’s negotiation team includes both sworn and non-sworn representatives as well as legal counsel. Additionally, PPOA staff have now returned to scheduled meetings, twice a week, to stay current in all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related negotiations. This dedication of PPOA resources will continue to supplement and enhance the efforts of the CCU to negotiate reasonable terms as well as mitigate impacts on PPOA membership regarding this issue.
PPOA will be meeting with other member unions of the CCU tomorrow morning to continue internal discussion related to the negotiations with the County. Please monitor PPOA communications for accurate and timely information. PPOA will continue to provide our membership with correct information as the impacts of the vaccine mandates are negotiated.