November 22, 2021
Bulletin 49 – 21
UFLAC has been informed that the Department is sending Chiefs out into the field to serve a “Notice of Order” to bargaining unit members relevant to the vaccine mandate. Specifically, the letter notifies unit members that City records show they are not in compliance with the City’s vaccination mandate and reporting requirements. The letter further notifies the unit members that they have 48 hours to register their vaccination status with Bluestone or register with Bluestone and file for an exemption.
Several unit members have asked whether the Firefighter Bill of Rights (FBOR) requires the City to allow unit members to have Union representation and to record when a Chief serves this notice. Based on legal advice from UFLAC attorneys, unit members do not have the right to Union representation or to record because the Chiefs are not interrogating or asking questions as part of an investigation. If the Chief is only handing you a paper and reading from a script, you have no legal right to Union representation or to record under the FBOR. However, if the Chief begins to question you, then your rights under the FBOR will likely be triggered.
Regardless of your legal rights, if you would like Union representation and to record, you should make the request. Some Chiefs have allowed both requests.
UFLAC Executive Committee