Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached an agreement with a labor union representing approximately 260 state employees that will pave the way for mandatory COVID vaccinations to move forward, the first such agreement made since the governor implemented a vaccine requirement for employees in congregate-living facilities.
According to a press release, the agreement was reached with VR-704, which represents approximately 260 supervisory employees within the Illinois Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice.
Employees represented by the unions will be required to receive their first COVID vaccination shot by Oct. 14, with their second shot coming no later than Nov. 18.
Employees who do not receive the vaccine, or qualify for a medical or religious exemption, could face discipline up to and including termination under provisions of an executive order issued by Pritzker that required state employees working in congregate facilities to receive the COVID vaccine.
“With new variants among us, the quick spread of COVID in congregate settings in Illinois and across the nation continues to harm the most vulnerable among us,” Pritzker said in a statement. “I’m proud to reach this agreement with these critical labor partners, and applaud VR-704 for taking this critical step to combat the virus.”
The agreement is the first to be reached with a state labor union since Pritzker announced a vaccine mandate for employees within congregate living facilities earlier this summer.