The Postal Service has said that because of its semi-corporate status, the impact there of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal employees is still unsettled pending guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on a separate mandate issued at the same time for larger private sector employers.
Said a statement: “We appreciate the urgency with which the administration is moving to implement new measures to stem the further spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant. Because the Postal Service is an independent federal agency that operates under a private sector collective bargaining model, modifications to working conditions are mandatory subjects of bargaining.”
It added that “we are working closely with our union leadership so that once OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard is issued we can move quickly to determine its applicability to our employees and how best to implement.”
Due to the Postal Service’s status it has been largely setting its own pandemic-related policies. For example, it kept stricter safety protocols in place after the White House eased them for other agencies after the downturn in infections in the spring, and then was slower to reimpose restrictions after the upturn in the summer.