(This article originated from the APWU website: https://apwu.org/news/vaccination-mandates-president-biden)
On September 9, 2021, the White House released two Executive Orders on vaccinations for COVID-19.
The Executive Orders on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees and on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors do not expressly apply to Postal Service Employees.
In addition, in President Joe Biden remarks, he stated, “…tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”
Until this emergency rule is developed, the APWU will not know if it applies to Postal Service employees. Once the emergency rule is released it will be reviewed and discussed with our attorneys and additional information on how it applies will be released.
As the APWU has continually stated, all employees are encouraged to wear face coverings at work and are encouraged to voluntarily receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
(USPS releases this statement: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/091621-usps-statement-on-covid19-vaccinations.htm)
The health and safety of the Postal Service’s 650,000 employees who work every day to ensure that vital mail and packages are timely delivered to the American people, remains our highest priority. We will continue to take measures to protect the health and safety of our Postal workers that, given the critical role of vaccinations, includes encouraging all to get vaccinated.
We appreciate the urgency with which the administration is moving to implement new measures to stem the further spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant. Because the Postal Service is an independent federal agency that operates under a private sector collective bargaining model, modifications to working conditions are mandatory subjects of bargaining. In addition, our workplaces are subject to regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Therefore, we are working closely with our union leadership so that once OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is issued we can move quickly to determine its applicability to our employees and how best to implement.
Additional information on the steps we have taken to keep our employees and customers safe is available here.