Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Oct. 19, 2021

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Some Oregon state employees get more time for COVID vaccine

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PORTLAND — More than half of Oregon’s state employees have an extra six weeks to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a deadline has been pushed back to Nov. 30.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the change affects about 24,000 state employees represented by the Service Employees International Union 503 out of about 42,000 state executive branch employees. The SEIU’s success at pushing back Gov. Kate Brown’s initial Oct. 18 deadline for full vaccination may bode well for other unions.

“The collective bargaining process is still under way with other bargaining units,” Brown spokesperson Elizabeth Merah said Tuesday.

The same Oct. 18 deadline set by Brown for health care workers and teachers remains in place, Brown’s office said.

Brown announced the vaccine mandate among all executive branch employees Aug. 10. At the time, SEIU made clear its plans to bargain over Brown’s mandate.

Union members now have more time to complete shots but no more leeway in getting vaccinated than they did before.

Giving workers some extra time to finish the vaccination process, along with a new guarantee that the state will give people extra time off if they need it, will ultimately serve Oregon’s end goal, union Executive Director Melissa Unger said.

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