COVID-19 vaccination requirements apply to bargained-for employees

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New federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates apply to bargained-for University of Michigan employees on all three campuses who are not currently covered by the university’s vaccination policy.

Seventy-two percent of this segment of the Ann Arbor campus workforce, including Michigan Medicine, already has voluntarily had their vaccination status verified.

An emergency regulation issued recently by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires COVID-19 vaccination of eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as Michigan Medicine does.

As a result, Michigan Medicine has begun work to implement the vaccine mandate across all bargained-for employee groups that were not covered by the university’s original requirement. This requirement also applies in other patient-care settings at the university that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs, such as University Health Service.

Employees covered by the federal regulation must receive their first vaccination by Dec. 6 and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.  

A separate executive order for federal contractors applies to U-M employees working directly or indirectly on federal contracts or in the same physical location as those employees. As a result, employees covered by collective bargaining agreements who were not covered by the university’s requirement now must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4. 

“Our university community has overwhelmingly followed policies that help protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff,” said Rich Holcomb, associate vice president for human resources. “Many bargained-for employees and several bargaining groups not covered by the university’s vaccination policy have already agreed to comply or have voluntarily self-reported.

“With these new federal requirements, the expansion of vaccination eligibility to children and other public health measures in place, we should continue to minimize the prevalence of COVID at U-M and maintain a healthy workplace.”

Vaccination information must be self-reported using the university’s vaccination forms. Instructions for submitting vaccination information can be found on the Campus Maize & Blueprint website. 

Paid release time is available for COVID-19 vaccinations. Information about where to receive a vaccination at U-M or within the community can also be found on the Campus Maize & Blueprint website. 

Employees can also speak with a trained adviser ready to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and its safety by calling 734-764-8021 and selecting prompt No. 2. Advisers will not offer medical advice or address issues related to human resources or university policy.

Employees may request a medical or religious exemption using the university’s request process. Employees with an approved medical or religious exemption must continue to follow requirements such as weekly testing and wearing face coverings. 

Human resources teams in Michigan Medicine and on campus have been working with union representatives to discuss the new requirements and how they will be enforced.

The university’s current vaccination policy remains in effect for all other employees, including approved medical and religious exemptions. Employees with an approved medical or religious exemption must continue to follow requirements such as testing and wearing face coverings.

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