Breaking (but confusing) News on the UC Flu Mandate Deadline: The UC has now publicly extended the denial of access deadline for faculty and staff until November 16th, but there may be a very big catch/poison pill

Breaking (but confusing) News on the UC Flu Mandate Deadline: The UC has now publicly extended the denial of access deadline for faculty and staff until November 16th, but there may be a very big catch/poison pill

Per my past few posts, on Monday morning,  we filed an application to file a motion for contempt and/or for alternative relief for a TRO mandating that the UC tell the UC community that the November 1st deadline had been abated until the judge hears our Preliminary Injunction motion on November 4th. I pointed out in our papers that the UC Regents website was still showing the November 1st deadline.  The UC Regents has officially announced that the denial of access to UC facilities won’t start until after November 16th, at least for faculty and staff.

Here is the link:  https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions-for-employees-about-the-2020-21-uc-influenza-vaccination-order.html#1_2

But there is a big rub. It seems like they have not extended the paperwork deadline for medical exemptions or religious accommodation past November 1st, which seems like more hair-splitting with the judge’s order.

Here are two questions and answers posted on the UC Net:

“Q4. Is there a penalty or consequence for faculty, other academic appointees, and staff if they do not get a flu shot?

A4. Individuals who do not certify that they have received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine or have an approved exemption or accommodation will not have access to University facilities effective November 16, 2020. If the inability to access University facilities affects an employee’s ability to perform job functions, supervisors will work with employees to find alternatives so they can continue to work.

Q7. Will faculty, other academic appointees, or staff working remotely this fall need to document immunization by November 1?

A7. If faculty, other academic appointees or staff working remotely need to access a UC facility at any time, they must certify by November 1 that they have received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine, have an approved exemption or accommodation, or have a pending request for an exemption or accommodation.”

Does this cover faculty and staff who work on campus? 

I am not sure.

What about students?

They don’t seem to be covered in these FAQs, and this web site seems to be about faculty and staff.

I also saw that Berkeley’s Chief people officer (or whatever he’s called) has made a similar statement to Berkeley employees. I have no information about any other dissemination of the November 16th extension of the no access to campus order.

So, the only thing I can say for sure is that if you are faculty or staff working remotely but think you might have to be on campus at some point this year, then by November 1st, you have to have your paperwork in for a medical exemption (which is almost impossible to get) or religious accommodation, in order to be able to access a UC campus after November 16th, subject to the order of the court, currently scheduled to be finalized on November 4th.

Anything beyond that, well, your guess is as good as mine.

Rick Jaffe, Esq.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Breaking (but confusing) News on the UC Flu Mandate Deadline: The UC has now publicly extended the denial of access deadline for faculty and staff until November 16th, but there may be a very big catch/poison pill

  1. It seems that UC just chooses to not have a clear protocol on file. They like to have loop holes. Here is another big concern:
    1. What is their definition of ” flu” season. “I get that it can vary but having said that they can all agree that most considered peak flu season to be from December to February.
    Most Hospitals consider Flu season, ( October to March)
    Longest flu season I have heard of has been till early April.
    Is UC going to consider Spring quarter( starting late march to June) as a flu season?
    If so that is outrageous and they should be ashamed of themselves if they further force students to go get a flu shot that late in the flu season, and then ask them in few months to probably get the next years Flu shot!( assuming spring 2021 quarter will be in person)

  2. I printed out all the forms and answered this way, and emailed them in.
    To the online radio buttons: I will not relinquish my right to medical privacy. To the exception form: I crossed out the medical/religious part and asked for an exception because I am a human being and have dominion over my body: My body, my choice.
    I think it’s a good idea in case the ability to ask for a exemption goes away Nov 1; and to give them more paperwork to deal with.
    Some decades ago they tried to make me sign an oath that I would defend the constitution of the state against enemies, foreign and domestic. I wouldn’t do it. They didn’t fire me.
    And now they are the domestic enemy of our freedom.

  3. They can not legally take away the right to claim an exemption after Nov 1st, at least not
    the medical one. (Med exemption deadlines can not be set as a hard rule). People can develop new medical conditions or become aware of an underlying issue at any given time!
    The entire immunization policy that kids are forced to sign prior to accepting an offer was very contradictory. For instance students signed an immunization agreement that had a specific list of requirment ( flu shot was not there) Hidden on top is /was a statement ” subject to change in case of public health emergency” BUT it also says ” those changes are announced by February of that academic year”

    These students would not have had agreed to attend UC had they known there would be a non pandemic related shot mandate ( hope they do not make this a yearly issue for existing staff and kids). Faculty and students who have signed a contract prior to July 31 EO can not be forced to comply. It is unfair.
    If they make this a yearly mandate then it better be for the upcoming students who will agree to that and sign the agreement.

  4. They are still advertising their BS Nov 1st date on the daily symptom check site.

    The UTPE President also sent an email out that had the following in it. Note how they say there was no surge in hospital problems like they expected.

    CAMPUS
    CURTAILMENT

    The
    university recently released a survey to employees to gather input on proposed campus curtailment. Like many other employers, the university has seen a reduction in income related to the absence of students on campus. But let’s be clear: university enrollment
    for 2020-2021 has met pre-COVID goals. The vast majority of the billions of dollars in annual research funding comes from the federal government and that revenue stream has not been interrupted. If anything, this funding stream has increased as more UC labs
    take on research projects related to the pandemic. It is true that UC hospitals had a moment of decreased income when they made responsible efforts to reduce the hospital census in preparation of a surge that, thankfully, did not materialize on the west coast.
    Our Union will not let the university hide from the fact that it has $20 Billion dollars in reserves, rendering austerity measures such as curtailment wholly unnecessary.

    UPTE
    is fighting back against austerity measures that will negatively impact our members.

    Several
    weeks ago, we launched a petition demanding that the university preserve good jobs and honor our contracts. UPTE is demanding that the Pandemic not be used as a justification for closures and layoffs. Please take a moment to sign UPTE’s
    petition and let your voice be heard.

    Finally,
    take a moment to fill out the university’s survey and let the president of the university know how you feel about the university proposing to cut your income rather than use their reserves to keep the important work of the university moving forward. Campus
    closures save pennies on the dollar. You can read an analysis of how little the 2009 furloughs saved the university here.

    FLU
    MANDATE

    The university’s recent flu immunization mandate is still being negotiated. UC’s FAQ #15 states UCOP Labor Relations will bargain the effects of this new requirement with the systemwide unions prior to enforcement.” UPTE is in continued negotiations on issues surrounding the policy, including payment of your time and cost, consequences if an employee does not meet the deadline (now pushed out to at least November 4) as well as supporting the principle that the decision on whether or not to get the immunization needs to remain between you and your healthcare provider.

    There is now a hold on enforcement overall due to an upcoming hearing on November 4, 2020 for an injunctive relief (a legal maneuver to stop an pending action) due to a court filing from the Children’s Defense Fund vs University of California. The policy may require modification, depending on the outcome of the hearing.

    You should keep yourself, your family and the community safe by getting immunized when recommended by your healthcare provider. Have that discussion and make an informed decision. And thank you to all of the UPTE members who have helped to perform research on immunizations
    and the health benefits and effectiveness.

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