New Essentia Health Employee Policy Sparks Controversy

New controversy sparks between Essentia Health and USW.

DULUTH, Minn.- Some controversy is swirly between Essentia Health and the United Steel Workers Union after the company announced, they’re requiring all employees to receive the flu vaccine.

The new policy was put in place back in September.

Essentia said the policy benefits patients, but the union is hoping for a different solution.

“It’s a one size fits all,” USW Local 9460 President Stacy Spexet said. “It doesn’t take into account things such as alternatives to receiving a vaccine or people who do not have direct patient care, they may work from home, they make work in buildings patients do not have access to.”

Employees who are not vaccinated by November 10th will be terminated. Essentia claims policies applying to all workers such as this, are common in the health care industry.

“Even though you may not handle direct patient care, we’re all mobile,” Infectious Disease Physician Rajesh Prabhur said. “So you may work in information, technology, but you go to the cafeteria and you probably associate with other co-workers who do have direct contact.”

A negotiation between the two sides, is coming soon.


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