Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration has reached agreements with a total of four unions regarding compliance with the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees in congregate-living facilities, officials said Monday.
According to a news release, the governor's office recently came to an agreement with multiple Illinois trade unions that work in congregate settings such as the Shapiro Developmental Center, Menard Correctional Center and Quincy Veteran’s Home.
Employees represented by the unions were initially required to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination shot by Oct. 14, but the deadline was pushed back to Oct. 26.
Agreements have been reached with the following unions:
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- Illinois Federation of Public Employees - approximately 160 employees working in Human Services and Veterans' Affairs.
- Illinois Nurses Association - approximately 1,100 nurses working in 24/7 facilities like McFarland Mental Health Facility and Quincy Veterans' Home
- Illinois Trade Unions - approximately 470 employees working in 24/7 facilities such as Menard Corrections Center and Shapiro Developmental Center
- VR-704 - 260 supervisory employees at the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
Workers who do not receive the vaccine, or qualify for a medical or religious exemption, could face discipline up to and including termination, according to the governor's office.
To further encourage vaccinations, employees will receive an additional personal day.
If a dose can't be administered during a worker's regularly scheduled shift, the employee may be compensated at their regular pay for the time taken to receive the vaccine, officials said.
Additionally, if a vaccinated employee gets COVID-19, they will receive a period of paid time off without using their benefit time.
Contrary to Pritzker's directive, which calls only certain employees, such as educators and those working in congregate facilities, to get vaccinated, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has implemented a vaccine mandate for all city workers.
A showdown between Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara and the city has been ongoing in recent days, with both sides filing lawsuits and a judge issuing a restraining order that bars Catanzara from encouraging officers to defy the mandate.