The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is going ahead with plans requiring flu shots for all staff despite a union’s request for a court order to stop it. The Service Employees International Union which represents some 2,800 nurses is asking for a court injunction to stop the shots.

Union Local 199 president, Cathy Glasson, says an educational program promoting the vaccine would be better. “We don’t believe that firing a health care worker, the threat of termination, or sending them home without pay is a good way to encourage folks to want to participate in programs,” Glasson says. Glasson says an educational program promoting the immunization would be better.

She says the union is not opposed to the vaccine as they believe that health care professionals need to received the vaccine and they encourage employees to receive the vaccine. “What we are opposed to is that it is mandated by the employer, this is an issue that University Hospitals should have come to the union before just unilaterally implementing a change that has such a profound effect on the health care professionals we represent,” Glasson says.

University Hospitals C.E.O Ken Kates sent an e-mail message to staff today (Wednesday) that says there’s no change in plans to begin the mandatory flu shots on September 25th.