Home Forums Bargaining Feb 2022 Covid Bargaining

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    • #1202
      Jill Coert
      Participant

      Anything to talk about during the most current Covid Bargaining? Boosters? Masking? Let’s chat here…

    • #1203
      Chelsea Lin
      Participant

      A vote of 45/32 regarding the booster being mandatory is pretty much split, and that not only doesn’t present a united front but also will cause dissention amongst basically 50% of CAS members. My concern with making the boosters mandatory is that it sets a future precedence for CTA on dictating what medical procedures are “necessary” for employees’ health. The decision by CTA to make necessary what the government hasn’t even deemed required is entirely a political move on their part and has nothing to do with protecting employees’ health. When does it end? What’s to prevent them from making the next booster mandatory, and all future boosters (or any other number of health-related things) mandatory, if we agree to this one now?

    • #1204
      sarah davis
      Participant

      I agree! I worry about the summary dismissal and wonder if this is across the board for all CTA staff, or just for CAS? For those who aren’t boosted, when would they have to show proof of a booster shot?

    • #1205
      Jill Coert
      Participant

      The summary dismissal was presented both to CAS and CSO, and you would have 60 days to get a booster shot.

      The summary dismissal is a no go. Neither CAS or CSO will agree to it.

    • #1206

      Membership being almost split on this issue right now shows that many people are now seeing this for what it was in the beginning. This isn’t about health, safety, or caring for our members. This is a political grab by CTA. It has been from the beginning. This opens the door for future mandates and control over what medical decisions we make for our bodies. CTA isn’t concerned about our health, our safety and us not getting covid. This was apparent by the swarms of CSO and people still coming into offices during the lockdown (some of them not even wearing masks). I am glad to see more members taking issue with this and voicing their concern. We should all be concerned, all of us. This may not affect you right now, and you may think it’s a not a big deal, but trust me, you will when the next mandate comes out or the next necessary thing to do with your body. Will CAS or CSO be able to stop CTA from mandating this, no. But using our voice to tell them we don’t approve matters. As CAS members we are always wanting CTA to take us seriously. Saying hey ya we think its ok you tell our members what to do with their medical health is not the way for them to see us.

    • #1208
      Jill Coert
      Participant

      Here’s an update regarding our Tentative Agreement that was reached this morning. We will be voting on it soon:

      Changes to the CAS Covid MOU – Tentative Agreement reached 2/28/2022

      • Masks are required as mandated by local governing agencies, with the exception of
      o When meeting with someone, everyone must wear a mask (meetings are two people or more, in a room or office)
      o Unvaccinated employees, vendors and visitors to the office must wear a mask at all times. Unvaccinated employees may remove their mask when eating or drinking in a break area.
      • If all attendees at a meeting are vaccinated, 6 ft of social distancing is not required. Unvaccinated attendees (or those whose vaccination status is not verified) must maintain 6 ft of social distancing).
      • CTA will reimburse newly hired staff up to $100 for portable HEPA air purifiers for work area use.
      • No more plexiglass panels or additional cubicle walls or moving to different desks/cubicles.
      • Signage will be as required by governing agencies and the worksite plan, and the signs will be posted at all entry points and within view of meeting rooms in all CTA offices.
      • Childcare language was upheld.
      • Medical Exemption language was upheld.
      • Supervisors still have the discretion to allow CAS to work from home when they are required to quarantine due to Covid, but now they can allow CAS to work from home when a member of their household requires their care.
      • Covid boosters are now mandated within 60 days of becoming eligible for the booster, and based upon the availability of the booster shots.
      • Meeting attendees will be verified for vaccinations (including boosters).
      • If you don’t already have a medical exemption, and need one for the booster, you must submit the exemption by April 1, 2022.
      • Progressive discipline for vaccination issues will be as described in the CAS contract.
      • If you are exposed to Covid, you will be instructed to quarantine as per the most current CDPH/CDC guidance (old language was up to 14 days).
      • MOU is extended through April 30, 2022, pending ratification by CAS.

      A draft of the MOU can be found here:https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:6a5f3276-a939-4631-a394-a09e68d9ae33

      It is in very rough form, a cleaned up version will be sent out within the next couple of days.

    • #1209
      Celeste Frago
      Participant

      While I don’t agree with booster mandates, I think our bargaining team did the best that they could. When it comes right down to it CTA can mandate vaccinations and boosters. It sucks, but they can. Our bargaining team had some significant wins (unvaccinated get progressive discipline, child care language upheld and supervisors can allow work from home in certain situations). Thanks to everyone on the bargaining team. Guess I will go get my booster soon.

    • #1211
      Lawrence Lee
      Participant

      Thanks Jill and the bargaining team for the extension of the MOU. I think it is important to have the dialogue between what our employer is asking for and what the majority of our members support.

      During the last 2 years of the pandemic, CAS including myself have had to make decisions that do not reflect the views of all our members. 82.9% of our voting members in the last MOU extension voted to support vaccine requirements even though it could lead to termination, as a final form of disciplinary action.

      I do not think that CTA’s proposals are made with political intent, as we along with many other employers, unions and governments have made decisions based on the available data from scientific and medical studies. With the current mask and vaccine mandates, as far as I know, we have not had any covid-19 outbreaks in any CTA offices during the last 2 years. I feel that the MOUs both past and proposed have helped ensure the safety and health of all CAS members. That being said, CAS members are still able to request for medical and religious exemptions from these vaccine/booster mandates.

      We do hear you all though that these mandates do not reflect everyone’s views. I encourage everyone to continue the dialogue for future MOU negotiations and to vote on the proposed MOU extension.

      Do take advantage of the current protections (plexiglass, faces shields, etc) while they are still in place.

      Remember, any pandemic or epidemic can still have absolutely detrimental effects on individuals. Some CAS members share households or are around individuals with compromised immune systems so it’s important that we keep everyone safe as possible in the workspace.


      Lawrence Lee
      CAS Area 5 Director

    • #1213
      Jazmin Sandoval
      Participant

      I can understand the logic behind mandating the first vaccine as the support was overwhelming at 82% however, this is not the case any more. There is nearly a split decision. It’s unjust to mandate the booster based on the numbers we currently have.

      I would also like to point out that medical exemptions are not easy to obtain. Doctors are very resistant to writing people off even when there are legitimate concerns. In regards to a religious exemption, there was no indication of this being an option for the new MOU.

      There is an obvious middle ground that satisfies both sides. We don’t mandate the booster, those who wish to get boosted are more than welcome to without any objections and those who do not wish to get boosted don’t have to.

      CAS needs to represent both sides, not just one.

    • #1214
      Jesus Lomeli
      Participant

      While I’m not opposed to vaccines, and I appreciate all the efforts of the CAS bargaining team, I think mandating boosters is taking it a step too far. If boosters are mandated, what’s next, flu shots? Inoculation for the sake of herd immunity is one thing, but we’re beyond that effort. It’s already been stated that COVID-19 isn’t going away and we’re going to have to learn to live with it. Therefore, those who feel they are at higher risk should opt for boosters. However, boosters should remain optional, just as flu shots have been. Just my two cents.

    • #1215
      Jill Coert
      Participant

      I am so glad that we have involved CAS members who are voicing their opinions about this issue. I’m going to voice mine, not as CAS president, but as an involved CAS member. Our MOU is titled “Safety and Working Conditions during the Covid-19 Pandemic”. PANDEMIC. We are still in the pandemic phase of Covid-19. The arguments set forth that mandating boosters is a slippery slope and that CTA will start requiring flu shots seem far-fetched to me – I guess it is in the realm of possibility, but pretty out there. If there was a flu pandemic, maybe.

      The conditions set forth in the MOU have really kept CAS members healthy – there have been no reported cases of a CTA employee catching Covid at work. Now I know that this doesn’t mean it absolutely didn’t happen, but CTA, by law, has to track cases, and none have shown up.

      I know it is difficult to agree to mandates, but this one is OK with me.

    • #1216
      Chelsea Lin
      Participant

      What Jazmin said is exactly right:

      “There is an obvious middle ground that satisfies both sides. We don’t mandate the booster, those who wish to get boosted are more than welcome to without any objections and those who do not wish to get boosted don’t have to.

      CAS needs to represent both sides, not just one.”

      Not mandating the booster doesn’t affect anyone who wants to get it. However, mandating the booster affects everyone and deprives them of a choice.

    • #1217
      Sara Morell
      Participant

      This post was written on my break.

      PLEASE VOTE. Let your voice be heard. Call those CAS members that usually don’t vote, and encourage them that this is a big deal!

    • #1218
      amy feldman
      Participant

      Hello! I really hope a good portion of our members are here reading this forum. I understand we shouldn’t use the CTA email but sadly, that is the only way to get our message to the entire membership.

      CTA asks a lot of CAS and gives us absolutely no credit or respect for the work we do. The amount of extra perks, pay and contract language that every other employee within this organization gets compared to us is demeaning.

      Requiring this booster is a slippery slop, mandating flu shots? Yeah that may be far fetched, but like you mentioned in your statement above Jill, these so called vaccines have kept most of the staff healthy. Who is to say that CTA wont want our sick leave cut back so hey get the flu shot so you are out of the office less, or save on our always in the red medical plan. While every other staff can still work from home if they are sick, or juggle their schedules for doctor appointments, car repairs, etc. they never have to touch any of their leave, yet every minute we are needing to do anything non work related we have to take at least 30 minutes of our time on the books. Time that is still less than everyone else gets but we have to use it more.

      Sharing my experience here with this booster. I had my booster this past Thursday. I am STILL sick and suffering from side effects 4 days later. My weekend was taken from me, I got nothing done that needed to be done. In Jan my son got Covid then I got Covid between us I was out for almost 15 days. Now here I am sick due to a mandated vaccine and Covid leave which we only have because the state of California is providing it has run out. Now being sick from something mandated, I have to use MY saved time?? It just isn’t right. I know most people hopefully will not have the same horrible experience I am having, but seriously, to mandate this and provide us nothing is a huge step backwards in the union world in my opinion. Off the subject a bit here, but we havent received any real raise in YEARS, the gas prices everyone is having to struggle with…. ops I am sorry as far as CTA goes, the gas prices for CAS, because gas is covered for just about everyone else, and if not covered they can choose to work from home or get paid significantly more than CAS. My point is we are always left on the floor to get the table scraps.

      Jill and all of CAS leadership, I am NOT knocking you, I know how hard it is at that bargaining table. CTA just flat out shuts us down on many issues and will not hear it. How do you even fight against that. I KNOW you all are doing all you can and trying your best to get the best outcome for membership as a whole. For me, I think I feel so strongly about this because of the bigger picture of how little to no respect we get. I have no problem with getting these vaccines, however, after this experience I am having with this booster, I do NOT ever want to get another again, I’ve been miserable. I really feel like I have Covid all over again. As a single parent with no support of any kind EVERYTHING falls on me to do. Being sick like this is extremely taxing on my mental health. I believe our mental health over this issue is probably the bigger picture here for everyone. Just because some or even most think nothing of getting these shots doesn’t mean its easy breezy for others, mental health is real, and just because most of us think they are safe doesn’t mean we should write off how it makes other people feel and the damage it could be doing to their mental health. Thank you for hearing me out.
      -Amy Feldman

    • #1219
      Chelsea Lin
      Participant

      BRAVO!

      Thank you for that well-spoken comment, Amy! Perfectly said on all levels!

    • #1220

      We have, for ages asked that CTA see us, they take us seriously and listen to us. How do we earn respect by allowing them to take our choices away? The only way for people to see us, respect us and hopefully, one day listen to us is to use our voice. Use our voice to say NO!! NO, you can’t take away my ability to make my own medical decisions and what to do with my body.
      Mandating a booster deprives people of a choice. I respect everyone’s personal choice to get or not to get this. I don’t understand why it is even a conversation to not respect and support someone who may not agree with the mandate or the vaccine/booster for that matter. This doesn’t affect you if you want to get the booster, but it certainly does for people who don’t want to.
      I could go on and on about this, but the reality is that CTA should not have control over our medical decisions or tell us what to do with our bodies. Today it is the booster, years from now it will be something else. And don’t be misled. This is very much a slippery slope.
      Exemptions, unless you are educated on the matter and have tried to get one, you have no idea what that entails. Doctors don’t want to write them and are encouraged not to. Yes, even for people that qualify. Doctors that write exemption letters for people for this vaccine are put on watchlists. I was literally told one of the only ways to get one was on the down-low. So no, that is not a choice for people. Even people like me that qualify.
      I am very thankful for leadership and all they have done during this time. I know the work and commitment and time it takes. CAS deserves equal representation. We need to see that.
      Again, we don’t earn respect from CTA by allowing them to take away our choices. We don’t get them to see us by standing by without using our voice. And we certainly don’t enact change with CTA by allowing them to silence our choices!

    • #1221
      Josh Ralls
      Participant

      Powerful words, Amy.
      I appreciate what so many of you have said.

      Obviously, everybody knows where I stand on this issue. I know that not all of us are known for speaking up. I am not. Some fear the “CAS Police” regulating what is said on CTA email. Yeah, let’s take away speech for those with inconvenient opinions… After all, everybody gets the email. Not many of us are on this forum.

      If only one could truly take off one’s hat when opining on a deal that they brokered…

      We should all be able to see through the responses that this issue has nothing to do with the vaccine at all. This is about granting CTA power where they should have none. Should we trade our medical anonymity for the sake of safety from Covid? How has that worked so far? I am sure that many of us could share stories of getting Covid in spite of being vaccinated and/or boosted. What is it that we get out of continuing the MOU? Jill said that the MOU kept us safe. I would like to see the data to back up that claim. How is Amy safer? How are any of us safer? No Covid cases at work? Really? I think that it is more likely zero data points in an unscientific process managed by Tom. How many points of failure do you suppose that there are at CTA? Safety…

      Do we ‘agree’ now to set the stage for future bargaining? If that is the case, I hope that somebody says so. We need to know what the price is for selling out the future of a once great union.

      Sadly, some are tone deaf for not recognizing that dissenting voices are still voices and there are a lot more than there used to be. Our voices matter, but only when we use them.

      CTA has no business in my bedroom and no business whispering in my doctor’s ear.

      CTA has no business in your bedroom and no business whispering in your doctor’s ear.

      Vote, Vote for your lives!

      Josh

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