A union representing Pennsylvania’s state workers says it will order tens of thousands of state officials to be vaccinated with COVID-19 or undergo weekly inspections in addressing Governor Tom Wolf’s new policy. Faced with choice.
An association of Pennsylvania prison guards and other orthodontic staff went with the latter in a letter to Wolf on Thursday.
The Pennsylvania Prison Officers Association, which has 11,000 members, said it had instructed lawyers to challenge the proposed policy.
“Your decision to require vaccinations and tests this week is a slap. Frankly, it’s too late because thousands of members have already been infected because of your negligence,” said John. Read the letter Ecken Road, signed by.
Earlier this week, the Governor of the Democratic Party said that 25,000 federal officials in congregations and medical facilities, such as state prisons and disability centers, would need to be vaccinated or have weekly COVID tests.
The government said the exams are free to workers and are likely to be done on-site.
In a letter, Eckenlord condemned the Wolf administration’s policy on the spread of COVID-19 in prison. He noted the continued transfer of imprisoned individuals during the pandemic and the deployment of vaccines that did not prioritize prison officers.
However, vaccination rates remain low even among prison officers. Over 20 percent are fully vaccinated, according to corrections bureau data.
In the letter, Eckenlord wrote that he believed that the number of orthodontic staff tested positive was even higher than reported and could have “acquired innate immunity.”
“But for some reason, innate immunity is being ignored by the federal health authorities and this administration,” Eckenlord wrote.
A study from Emory University published in July suggests that people who survive COVID-19 may have “durable and strong” resistance to the virus.
However, according to a study published this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unvaccinated people are more than twice as likely to be re-infected with COVID-19 as vaccinated people.
In a statement, Wolf spokesman Lindsay Kensinger said the union’s opposition was “extremely disappointing.”
“Vaccination is the easiest and most effective way to protect the general public and ourselves from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kensinger said in an email.
The Association of Orthodontic Officers is not the only union that represents prison officers. Service Employees International Union’s state-wide municipality, SEIU668, represents thousands of public sector workers, including some prison staff.
Union chairman Steve Catanese told Capital Star that the union is spending time promoting vaccines among its members and asked the Wolf administration to negotiate policies.
Negotiations could make policies better and safer for those who are in good health or religious opposition to vaccines, while maintaining the health protection of workers and citizens, according to Catanese.
However, Catanese went on to refrain from spending union fees to “file a proceeding that I did not know was valid.”
Council 13 of the US State, County, and Municipal Employees’ Federation, which represents 65,000 civil servants in Pennsylvania, offered to negotiate with the administration earlier this week in a similar tone.
“Our union continues to address employer vaccination obligations through negotiations to protect the rights of its members as employees and ensure that workers who have survived this pandemic are treated fairly. “We are,” said David Henderson, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13 in a statement.
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