9/22 Vaccine Mandate Update

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A call was had with Kaleida Health today at 11:00 am. Some new information was shared in respect to the vaccine mandate. Here are the new or changed pieces of information that were shared with us:

  • CHANGE: In a new FAQ released by the NYS Department of Health, individuals with an approved medical exemption will be able to work at the bedside while wearing an N95. Previously Kaleida took the position that individuals with an approved medical exemption could not perform patient care.

  • UPDATE: Religious Exemptions – The restraining order for religious exemptions by the judge out of Utica was extended to October 12th. Those who have submitted for a religious exemptions should plan to come to work on their scheduled days after the mandate goes into effect. This will stand until the judge makes a ruling or a change is announced by NYS. Religious exemption applications will be accepted by HR but will not be approved or denied until a final ruling from the judge or a change to the regulations is made. Kaleida states that at this time, there will not be the ability to wear an N95 at the bedside for an approved religious exemption. Submitted applications will be in a “holding pattern” once submitted.

  • With Yesterday’s announcement by ECMC to reduce services, Kaleida stated that the option to reduce their services are “not off the table” however, “There is nothing to go out at this time [to announce such a change in services]”

  • All appointments for vaccines on the Kaleida scheduling portal are full. They are working to add more appointments.

  • Kaleida’s current understanding is that anyone who is unvaccinated is able to work until 7:00 am on September 27th to finish their shift.

  • Kaleida is seeking EXTREME FLEXIBILITY to staff facilities and units the way they see fit. We stand firm that the rights of our members must be adhered to and the current bargaining agreement must be followed for floating and staffing initiatives.

  • A call is planned for Thursday, September 23rd  in the morning to further discuss Kaleida’s “talking points” document that has been shared with the unions. This document includes ideas on:
    • Covered time for receiving the vaccine / adverse reactions
    • Creation of temporary positions for emergency staffing needs
    • Use of agency positions for emergency staffing needs
    • External postings and accelerated internal posting procedures for open positions
    • Schedule Changes, Shift Hold Overs/Overtime Due to Extreme Emergency
    • Floating
    • Bonus for extra shifts and employee recognition.

Since the mandate has been announced, CWA has been as transparent as possible with the information provided by Kaleida Administration. We will continue to be as transparent as possible and share information via all forms of communication with members.

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