New agreement allows thousands of NYC commercial, residential properties to mandate vaccination for building service employees

Thousands of industrial and residential properties within the metropolis, together with condos and co-ops, now have the choice to mandate vaccination for building service employees. 

A Memorandum of Agreement, issued on Oct. 1 by the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, a multi-employer affiliation representing town’s actual property business, and SEIU Local 32BJ, the union representing 85,000 building service employees within the metropolis, addresses guidelines for implementing COVID-19 vaccine necessities for employees working in most metropolis buildings.

The agreement said each events “encourage and support” all people to be vaccinated towards COVID-19, together with employees managers and tenants. 

“The agreement is really a testament to the good faith and the cooperation between the RAB and the union in terms of our joint interest in keeping buildings safe for our employees, our residents or any other people who might visit the building,” stated Howard Rothschild, President of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations.

Native 32BJ, which represents over 175,000 building employees, has agreed to enable employers to mandate their unionized employees obtain the vaccine. 

“In the end, no one wants to see people get sick, hospitalized or die, and I think both sides clearly recognized that the science and the data shows people will be safer and healthier if they get vaccinated, so that was the underpinnings of this agreement,” Rothschild stated. “I’m remarkably proud of the way the industry has acted and the way the union has acted and how we’ve all come together  to make buildings safer and healthier.” 

Now, it’s up to the buildings to decide if they need to mandate vaccinations or not. Some buildings plan to level to the memorandum as an incentive for employees to get vaccinated earlier than they formally mandate it.

“We had a lot of staff members that were concerned that there weren’t policies in place to protect them,” stated Michael Rogoff, a member of RAB’s residential committee and in addition the president of AKAM, one of the most important property administration companies in NYC and Florida. Residents, who usually are available in shut contact with employees like door and elevator attendants and upkeep employees,  have been additionally involved that some employees members weren’t vaccinated, he stated.

“This is a public safety agreement, and in most cases, when you’re making a decision based on health and safety it’s the right decision,” Rogoff stated. “ I think most people were really looking for this to happen. I don’t think it will cause a divide. I think it was the right move.”

The union and RAB have made other prior agreements all through the pandemic in an effort to hold employees protected. 

The opposite agreements served as “stepping stones” in in the end reaching this agreement permitting for vaccine mandates to be put in place, Rogoff stated.

The earlier agreements have made efforts to educate employees in regards to the vaccine and make the vaccine available for employees. Agreements have been made concerning testing for COVID-19 and others have been made concerning the use of PPE, masks and sanitation. By means of the joint effort, many employees did get vaccinated following these prior agreements. 

“We’ve tried to do everything else to convince workers to get vaccinated, but at some point, the only thing that’s left is to mandate it,” Rothschild stated. “The ultimate goal is to keep people healthy and safe, and that’s what we’re expecting out of this.” 

The agreement outlines “the process and safeguards which must be followed in the event a site or an employer intends to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” in accordance to a press release from the Realty Advisory Board and SEIU 32BJ.   

Employers who need to impose a mandate should accumulate employees’ vaccination standing info, giving employees per week to reply to the request for info on vaccination standing, in accordance to the discharge.  If and when employers search to mandate vaccination, employees may have no less than 4 weeks’ discover to get their first shot earlier than the mandate goes into impact. 

The agreement lays out the implications if employees refuse to get vaccinated. Penalties embrace unpaid furlough and separation of employment. The memorandum additionally covers an “extension of recall rights for employees in commercial properties,” discusses “continuing collaboration between the employers and the union to provide education and information on vaccination access” and “continuing protections related to the use of PPE,” the discharge stated. 

Over the subsequent week, the RAB might be internet hosting a sequence of webinars for anybody who has questions in regards to the agreement.

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