Arbitrator Says UIHC Must Stop Mandatory Vaccinations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Arbitrator Says UIHC Must Stop Mandatory Vaccinations

Iowa City (KWWL) -- A ruling today by a neutral arbitrator says that the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has to end its mandatory flu vaccination policy.

The arbitrator ruled on behalf of the Service Employees Interantional Union (SEIU) Local 199, saying that the policy violates the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the hospital.

The decision applies to both the seasonal flu and H1N1 flu vaccines.

SEIU Local 199 President, Cathy Glasson says, "People's livelihoods should never have depended on whether they received a flu shot or not, especially when the contract does not allow for such a policy. It is especially true given that a vaccination program is really only part of a comprehensive infectious disease program designed to protect patients and employees."

The union hopes that they can work with hospital administration to work on an education campaign that could get close to 100% voluntary compliance.

In 2008 UIHC had a compliance rate of 84%. 

The mandatory vaccine policy was announced by UIHC back on September 2, 2009 and was immediately met with opposition from the union.

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