SAG-AFTRA Board takes no action to change Covid-19 vaccination mandates by September 30th –

Hollywood’s Covid-19 vaccination prescriptions were the subject of today’s three-hour special SAG-AFTRA national board meeting, which ended with no action to change existing policies that allow employers, by industry, to require vaccinations as a condition of employment subject to restrictions. contained in the industry return to work agreement. This agreement expires September 30th.

Industry-wide negotiations to extend the agreement are due to begin on Monday. The event will bring together union leaders SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, Teamsters and Basic Crafts, as well as representatives from companies and the Film and Television Producers Alliance.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, who called a special meeting last month, was accompanied to Saturday’s board meeting by her own epidemiologist, Dr. Harvey Risch. He is Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Medicine. Drescher and Risch believed that it was now safe to abolish the mandates.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher Calls for Hollywood’s Covid Vaccination Mandate Revisited

SAG-AFTRA also brought its own epidemiologist, David Michaels, an epidemiologist and professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health, to the meeting. Michaels, who served as OSHA’s assistant secretary of labor during the Obama administration, believes the mandates should remain in place because vaccines continue to provide some degree of protection against transmission and infection. Earlier this week, the guild safety committee met and recommended that the existing policy be continued.

The latest data shows that this year in Los Angeles County, the number of deaths from Covid exceeded the number of deaths associated with the flu, car accidents and drug overdoses combined.

Return-to-work protocols require employers to notify unions when they decide to require vaccinations as a condition of employment. Based on an analysis of these notifications, SAG-AFTRA only 25.8% of productions required vaccination in the first six months of 2022.

Opponents of the mandates argued that the vaccine was not effective against the spread of the latest sub-variants of the virus and that many employers respected provisions in the return-to-work agreement that allowed medical exemptions or genuine religious beliefs. They also claim that participants who refuse to be vaccinated are discriminated against in employment.

Proponents of the protocols argue that vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, and that with only a quarter of trade shows requiring vaccination, there are still plenty of job opportunities for those who do not want or cannot be vaccinated.

The return-to-work protocols, first adopted on September 21, 2020 and regularly renewed, have been widely credited for keeping workers safe and the industry running over the past two years.

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