To: Non-Unit Employees
From: Keri Powers, Vice President, HRTM
Date: August 12, 2021
Re: Non-Unit Employee Vaccination Requirement
Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and to BSU. Together, we have kept our community safe throughout the pandemic while continuing to deliver on our promise of providing an outstanding education and helping every student, one student at a time, to succeed.
In all of our decision-making during this time, we have placed the safety of our campus community first in everything we have done. Accordingly, in consultation with all other state universities, and informed by federal and state public health guidance and data on regional virus transmission, President Clark and Cabinet have determined that all non-unit employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This decision comes as it becomes more apparent than ever before that vaccination rates must increase if we are to overcome this virus and ensure a safe and healthy campus community for both students and employees.
There is also intention to engage with all three of our campus unions at the state level to begin impact bargaining on a vaccination mandate for all BSU employees.
All non-unit employees – non-unit professional, non-unit classified, temporary hourly staff – must be fully vaccinated by Tuesday, August 31, 2021, and proof of vaccination must be provided to the university by this date.
On a case-by-case basis, a limited grace period for compliance may be granted to an employee who has received their first shot but has not reached fully vaccinated status (meaning they have not yet received their second shot and/or passed the two-week post-vaccination waiting period.) However, the grace period will not extend beyond October 1, 2021, and workplace access or other restrictions may be in effect for employees in this status.
Proof of Vaccination
If you have already attested to being vaccinated, no further action is required of you at this time.
If you have not yet attested to being vaccinated, you will need to complete the Employee Vaccination Attestation form no later than Tuesday, August 31, 2021, unless you are covered by the grace period.
Please note all attestations are subject to potential verification via the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS) database.
Definition of Fully Vaccinated
According to the CDC, a person is considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (such as Moderna or Pfizer), or
- Two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).
To be fully vaccinated by Tuesday, August 31, 2021, with the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, individuals will need to receive their second dose of the vaccine by Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Unvaccinated individuals choosing the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also need to receive their vaccine by Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Medical or Religious Exemptions
An employee may request an exemption to the vaccination requirement based on the existence of medical contraindication to vaccination. In addition, an employee may request an exemption to the vaccination requirement based on a sincere religious belief. In both cases, an employee will be required to submit documentation to support the request for an exemption. Employees who secure an exemption may be required to take additional precautions in the workplace and will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing through the university’s Wellness Center.
Any employee who seeks a medical or religious exemption, or who seeks to request a grace period as defined above, should contact Keri Powers at email@example.com.
Access to Vaccination
The COVID-19 vaccine is now widely available. Listed below is information about how and where employees can access the COVID-19 vaccine. If an employee is not yet vaccinated and needs assistance with accessing the vaccine, please contact the division of Human Resources & Talent Management.
- Local Pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid)
- CDC Vaccine Finder
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vaxfinder
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Locations
Additional Information and Questions
The Fall 2021 web page will include an FAQ employees may find helpful to learn more about campus safety protocols, vaccine requirements, and other pertinent information related to safe return planning. In addition, the division of Human Resources & Talent Management is available to employees seeking assistance in securing a vaccine, seeking additional information, or who have questions.