Following HUD's multiple announcements of pandemic-related actions and management's failure to bargain despite repeated demands from the Union, Council 222 of HUD Locals filed a Grievance of the Parties against the agency on October 19, 2021. Despite HUD's claim that the agency "will be updating our personnel policies in partnership with our unions" when HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman announced a return to office date of January 3, 2022, HUD has so far failed to meet with the Union to discuss any policy related to COVID-19.
The grievance asserts that HUD violated our collective bargaining agreement and the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute by implementing procedures relating to vaccination attestation, vaccination deadlines, and exemptions from vaccination, and by announcing a return to office date without providing the Union with appropriate notice or an opportunity to bargain. Council President Sal Viola sent an open letter to Secretary Fudge and Deputy Secretary Todman as an e-Alert to the membership explaining the grievance.
Although HUD finally agreed to begin bargaining on October 26--more than a month after receiving the Union's September 14 demand to bargain--HUD has still failed to provide proper notice of its planned return to work date to the Union, as required under our collective bargaining agreement. The Union agreed to bargain only over the subjects of our demand to bargain, such as the vaccine mandate. HUD's tactics are an effort to limit the Union's ability to bargain by presenting a fait accompli.
Local 476 is taking an active role in protecting HUD employee rights, including helping craft the demand to bargain and the grievance. The demand to bargain addressed issues including privacy of employees’ medical information, administrative time to get vaccinated and to recover from side effects, exemptions for religious/medical reasons, verification process for employees to show proof of vaccination, mask mandates after full vaccination, and due process protections and consistency of penalties in disciplinary action.