CSUEU and San Jose State University recently met to bargain over the impact of a new Santa Clara County Public Health Order that requires all employers in the county to “ascertain” the vaccination status of employees; however, employers would not be required to share vaccination information with the county. Santa Clara County’s order, dated May 18, gives employers until June 1 to collect the information or be subject to $5,000 per day fines. At a labor and management meeting on May 21, the campus and Union agreed to the following: • The campus had no choice about complying with a county health order. • CSU’s systemwide vaccination policy (not yet released) would not be defined by this order. • Employees should not be forced to disclose private information. • The information gathered must remain confidential and not used for other purposes. The agreement reached includes a form (based on the county’s recommendation/requirement) that would ask for vaccination information but would not punish employees who declined to answer. The information collected would not be used for other purposes and no one would be required to provide a vaccination card or other medical information. The Union and the University are treading a fine line that balances safety and privacy. It is in all of our interests to have a fully vaccinated society and workplaces. Vaccination is the path to normal and that only works when most of us are fully vaccinated. At the same time, we value privacy and personal choice. California is on the verge of lifting restrictions based on vaccination status. Vaccinated people will be free of masks and social distancing; unvaccinated people will be expected to continue safety measures. That same distinction will prevail in the workplace. California is only partially vaccinated and unevenly at that. Vaccination rates among white people are higher than among non-white (which reflects other lags in our nation’s health care system). CSUEU is working to make sure that vaccination does not become confused with discrimination. The CSU's vaccination policy must include medical and religious exemptions and avoid disciplining employees into compliance. The best policy will be based on science, steady rather than sudden progress, and learning lessons from the pandemic that can be applied to the new post-pandemic workplace. “In the next few months, CSU and CSUEU will be bargaining on the CSU’s systemwide vaccination policy. The pandemic has taught us that we are all connected and the University survived because of the flexibility and sacrifice of its staff,” said Jessica Westbay, CSUEU Vice President for Representation. “CSU’s policies need to reflect the contribution and the autonomy of its employees.” Frequently Asked Questions related to the CSU’s vaccination requirement are posted on the Union website.