PRESS RELEASE: Council 13 reacts to Commonwealth vaccine mandate

Harrisburg, PA (August 10, 2021) – AFSCME Council 13 has notified Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration that the Commonwealth’s vaccine mandate for certain state employees is a mandatory subject of bargaining, and the union stands ready to navigate this matter with a focus on both public health and worker rights.

Council 13 encourages all Pennsylvanians to consider getting vaccinated to protect their communities and the public service workers who keep those communities running. The union commends its thousands of members in the state government who have already gotten vaccinated and encourages them to take advantage of the Commonwealth’s incentive of a day off for vaccinated employees. The union also intends to seek the best possible outcome for its represented employees who cannot or choose not to get vaccinated while still maintaining the health and safety of those around them.

AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David Henderson issued the following statement:

“Our union remains committed to protecting our members’ rights as employees and handling employer vaccine mandates through bargaining to ensure the workers who have kept us going throughout this pandemic are treated fairly. Despite everyone’s eagerness to move past this painful era of COVID-19, the Delta variant has reared its ugly head and caused a new surge in cases. This reminds us of the importance of staying vigilant to stop the spread of the virus, just like the thousands of AFSCME members who have already received the vaccine are doing.”