A labor union representing more than 7,000 deputies in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is pushing back against a new executive order that mandates county employees provide proof of full vaccination against coronavirus.
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) released a statement on Thursday indicating the union would challenge the directive.
The move comes the day after Hilda Solis, a former Labor Secretary in the Obama administration who is currently chair of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, announced the new requirement.
“ALADS saw Supervisor Solis’ tweet last night notifying 110,000 county employees that they will be required to receive a COVID-19,” the union said in the statement. “Supervisor Solis’ announcement via Twitter was a prime example of the lack of professionalism we have come to expect from her office.”
— Hilda Solis (@HildaSolis) August 5, 2021
The statement further criticized Solis, claiming she failed to reach out to stakeholders before issuing the mandate. ALADS said its lawyers were reviewing the order and “is asserting its bargaining rights over her decision.”
“Our legal team is prepared to meet with the County and the Sheriff’s Department regarding Supervisor Solis’ executive order and to defend the rights of our members,” it continued.
ALADS President James Wheeler sent a separate letter to Solis on Thursday requesting that her representatives contact him to schedule negotiation sessions.
Solis and other elected officials on the five-member Board of Supervisors have been feuding with Sheriff Alex Villanueva over multiple issues, including civilian oversight over the department and homelessness.
On Thursday, Sheriff Villanueva took to social media to “encourage” the Board and the L.A. County CEO “to work collaboratively” with law enforcement unions “to encourage vaccinations.”
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) August 5, 2021
In Wheeler’s letter to Solis, he wrote that the union and Villanueva “have been engaged in the meet and confer process over the Sheriff’s proposal that ALADS members either be vaccinated or receive negative weekly tests for COVID-19.” Wheeler asked Solis for clarification on whether her order supersedes the authority of Villanueva to negotiate a “vaccination or test” policy.
Solis said on Wednesday that the order is necessary because of “the rapid spread of the Delta variant,” adding, “as vaccinations continue at a pace slower than what is necessary to slow the spread, the need for immediate action is great.”
The directive requires county workers to provide evidence of immunization no later than October 1. Solis said the deadline “gives our employees the time they need to consult with their healthcare providers.” There are limited exceptions for medical and religious purposes.
California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom called the county mandate “the right move.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the order was announced after county health authorities confirmed 3,734 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and said 16 more people diagnosed with the malady had died. Officials said daily hospitalizations continue to increase, noting 1,242 patients were currently admitted with COVID-19.