On November 1, 2009, an independent arbitrator sustained the grievance the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61 filed to oppose the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics' work directive to require mandatory vaccinations for all staff. Earlier this year, on September 21, AFSCME and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics entered into an agreement to submit this matter to binding arbitration, which was resolved in AFSCME's favor. The arbitration states that employer must immediately cease and desist the "Universal Influenza Vaccination Policy." AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents roughly 2000 employees at UIHC including custodial, maintenance, and other staff that make the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics run smoothly every day.
"AFSCME wants to have an H1N1 free workplace for employees and the public, however this practice violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement this Union had with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The workers that AFSCME represents have always had a very high rate of voluntary participation of flu vaccinations, and we felt this work rule was not warranted. No one should be forced to choose between their job and getting a flu shot," said Danny Homan, President of AFSCME Iowa Council 61. ###