The new agreement allows thousands of commercial and residential properties in New York City to delegate vaccination to building service personnel
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Thousands of commercial and residential properties in the city, including apartments and co-ops, now have a choice Force vaccination of building service personnel.
Memorandum of Agreement, issued on 1 October by Labor Relations Real Estate Advisory Council, a multi-employer association representing the city’s real estate industry, and SEIU Domestic 32BJThe union represents 85,000 construction service workers in the cityAnd Addresses rules for implementing COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees working in most city buildings.
agreement said Both parties “encourage and support” all individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including staff managers and tenants.
“The agreement is truly a testament to the goodwill and cooperation between RAB and the union in terms of our shared interest in keeping the buildings safe for our employees, residents or anyone else who may visit the building,” said Howard Rothschild, Chair of the Real Estate Advisory Board on Labor Relations.
The local 32BJ office, which represents more than 175,000 construction employees, has agreed to allow employers to authorize their union employees to receive the vaccine.
“Ultimately, no one wants to see people get sick or hospitalized or die, and I think both sides have clearly recognized that science and data shows that people would be safer and healthier if they were vaccinated, so that was the basis of this agreement,” Rothschild said. “I am remarkably proud of the way the industry has acted, the way the union has acted, and how we have all come together to make buildings safer and healthier.”
Now, it is up to the buildings to decide whether or not they want to enforce vaccinations. Some buildings plan to refer to the memo as an incentive for employees to get a vaccination before they formally authorize it.
“We had a lot of employees who were concerned that there were no policies in place to protect them,” he said. Michael Rogoff, Member of the Residential Committee of RAB and President of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, one of the largest property management firms in New York and Florida. He said residents, who are often in close contact with staff such as door workers, elevators and maintenance staff, were also concerned that some staff had not been vaccinated.
“This is a public safety agreement, and in most cases, when you make a decision on the basis of health and safety, that is the right decision,” Rogoff said. “I think most people were really looking for that to happen. I don’t think it would cause a split. I think it was the right move.”
Union and RAB made Other previous agreements Throughout the pandemic in an effort to keep employees safe.
Rogoff said the other agreements served as “stepping stone” in eventually reaching this agreement that would allow vaccine mandates to be put into practice.
Previous agreements made efforts to educate employees about the vaccine and to make the vaccine available to employees. Agreements have been made regarding COVID-19 testing and others regarding the use of PPE, masks and sanitation. Through the joint effort, many employees were vaccinated after these earlier agreements.
“We’ve tried to do everything else to get workers to get vaccinated, but at some point the only thing left is to mandate that,” Rothschild said. “The ultimate goal is to keep people healthy and safe, and that’s what we expect from this.”
The agreement sets out “the process and safeguards to be followed in the event that a site or employer intends to implement the COVID-19 vaccine authorization,” according to the press release From the Real Estate Advisory Board and SEIU 32BJ.
Employers who want to enforce a mandate to collect information about employees’ vaccination status should give employees a week to respond to a request for information about their vaccination status, according to the statement. If and when employers seek to enforce vaccination, employees will have at least four weeks’ notice to get their first shot before the mandate goes into effect.
The agreement specifies the consequences if employees refuse to vaccinate. The consequences include unpaid leave and termination of employment. The memo also covers “extension of recall rights for employees in commercial real estate,” and discusses “ongoing cooperation between employers and the union to provide education and information about access to vaccination” and “ongoing protections related to the use of personal protective equipment,” the release said.
Over the next week, RAB will host a series of webinars For anyone with questions about the agreement.