Illinois COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Phase 1B to Begin Jan. 25

On Friday, January 15th Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that Phase 1B of Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan will begin on Monday, January 25th. Phase 1B will include “frontline essential workers” and include a sizeable number of Teamster Members. By the time Phase 1C is expected to begin as early as mid-to-late-February, most Members should be eligible for the vaccine. IDPH has some guidelines on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, but the rollout will differ greatly county-by-county and depend on supply at each vaccination site. It is unclear how involved each individual employer will be in notifying Members they’re eligible to receive the vaccine.


What we know:

  • The IDPH is planning Phase 1B to begin on January 25
  • Many Teamster Members who are frontline essential workers will be eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1B, and most Members should be eligible by Phase 1C
  • The state will set up drive-thru vaccine sites, as well as offering the vaccine at pharmacies, healthcare centers, and “through large employers”
  • The best course of action for anyone interested in getting the vaccine ASAP is to fill out a survey and sign up for updates from their local county health department, healthcare provider and pharmacy


What we don’t know:

  • How and when county health departments (or healthcare providers) will notify individuals and/or employers they can schedule a vaccination
  • How and if individual employers will have a role in notifying workers they are eligible
  • How those administering vaccine will certify Phase 1B eligibility
  • Where drive-thru testing sites will be located
  • When or if the IDPH will give local health departments further guidance for Phase 1B or Phase 1C



According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s guidelines, this will include residents 65 and older and essential frontline workers, which it does not clearly define, but gives examples such as” education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections workers and inmates, USPS workers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and staff at shelters and day cares.”


The IDPH said the vaccine will be distributed by healthcare providers, local pharmacies, and dozens of drive-through vaccination clinics to be set up statewide (similar to the COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites). The IDPS expects some to be running by Monday, but there is no list yet as to where these sites will be set up, or how they will work. It’s unclear whether they will require proof of job title and/or proof of residency, but once vaccination clinics open, you’re advised to bring your work ID and State issued ID or driver’s license to your vaccination site.


There is no statewide IDPH sign up list to be vaccinated.


The IDPH advised individuals interested in the vaccine to contact your local health department or healthcare provider for more information on the availability and scheduling of the vaccine.


County Health Departments

Individual counties throughout the state are all handling the vaccination plan differently. Most county health department websites like DuPage and Lake Counties have a sign-up list to receive updates on when the vaccine is available to you. Some are calling it a “registration” while others indicate it is simply a sign-up for updates. Every county health department encourages those interested in getting the vaccine to take the survey and/or sign up for updates on their county health department websites.


Cook County has a survey for individuals to take that will also sign them up for COVID-19 vaccine updates. It asks a few questions about your job duties and employer to give the county a better idea of how many doses they should plan for at each stage. It is encouraged for all interested in the vaccine within Cook County to fill out the survey. They also have one for organizations on their website, which appears to be only for 1A organizations, which applies to only medical care facilities. It is unknown if they will put out a similar survey for 1B and 1C organizations.


Pharmacies & Healthcare Providers

Much like County Health Departments, pharmacies like Osco and CVS are offering the option to sign up for vaccine updates, but not an actual sign-up list to get an appointment to receive the vaccine. They will be vaccination sites along with state-run sites that will be set up by the Illinois National Guard.



Governor Pritzker said in addition to drive-thru, state-run, and pharmacies, “large employers” will be offering the vaccine to its employees during Phase 1B. It is unclear how large a “large employer” is. For example, we know the State is working with larger healthcare facilities and public safety agencies to offer the vaccine to first responders and frontline healthcare workers. It’s unknown how many employers the State is working with for Phase 1B distribution. Employers may or may not be involved in letting employees know when they’re eligible.


Phase 1C

It is anticipated that Phase 1C vaccinations could begin by late-February, though there are conflicting predictions and several variables in play that will affect when Phase 1C will begin. The CDC guidelines, which Illinois has adopted, says that will include, “all other essential workers: workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers.”


We have confirmed with the IDPH that, outside of public transportation, most transportation workers, including UPS workers, will not be eligible to receive the vaccine until Phase 1C vaccination begins.

JRH Scholarship logo

2021 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund Applications Process Now Open

JRH Scholarship logo

Each year, children and dependents of Teamsters have a great opportunity to receive tuition assistance from the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund (JRHMSF).

The JRHMSF application process for the 2021 Academic and Training/Vocational Scholarship opens on November 30, 2020.

The scholarship is available to high school seniors who are sons, daughters, or financial dependents of Teamster members.

Academic scholarships range from $1,000 to $10,000 for high school seniors planning to attend a four-year college or university. The Training/Vocational program awards up to $2,000 for use at community colleges and trade schools.

Although the country was hit by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the scholarship Board of Directors is pleased to report that the Fund stayed on track with scholarship applications, and $1.2 million in scholarships were awarded, benefitting Teamster families in the United States and Canada in 2020.
Please refer anyone interested to for more information on how to apply.

Applications are due by March 1, 2021.

joe larocco of flood brothers

Joe LaRocco of Flood Brothers Takes Pride in Being an Essential Worker

Joe LaRocco knows he puts himself at risk of catching COVID-19 every day when he goes to work as a driver for Flood Brothers Disposal collecting and disposing of garbage and waste all over Chicagoland. Joe’s a proud member of Teamsters Local 731 and committed to his job because he knows the pandemic could be a lot worse if waste collection workers like him weren’t there. He’s also proud of the way Flood Brothers and Local 731 have stepped up and worked together to keep him and hs coworkers safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

joe larocco of flood brothers

Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 is recognizing the hard work of Members who have been deemed essential workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Watch more videos in the series here:

“Thank a Teamster” Billboards Pop-up Across Chicagoland Expressways

Teamster Local 731 is showing its appreciation to all of the hard-working Teamsters who are performing essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic by putting up billboards across Chicago-area expressways thanking them for continuing to work on the front lines.

“From the waste collection workers keeping our communities clean, to the supply chain workers keeping our stores stocked, and every Teamster in between, we want to show our gratitude to you,” said Teamsters Local 731 President Terrence J. Hancock.

Chicago’s morning traffic is a lot lighter due to so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the traffic on Chicago-area expressways is made up essential workers, and a lot of those essential workers are Teamsters working in the fields of food processing, public service, transportation, construction, waste collection, freight, and more.

“Our Teamster Men and Women are the ones still on the roads keeping America running and they have not missed a beat. I am so proud of their work. I hope they see these billboards and know we are continuing to fight for them every day to make sure they’re protected and compensated for the essential work they’re doing right now,” Hancock said.

Teamster billboard locations:

I-290 at Northlake facing North
I-294 at Northlake facing North
Rt. 83 at Butterfield Rd. facing North and South
Rt. 53 at Euclid Ave. facing North and South
I-290 at Manheim Rd. facing West.


Illinois Teamsters Working Behind the Scenes and on the Front Lines During COVID-19 Pandemic

(CHICAGO) Amidst the Shelter-in-Place Order for the State of Illinois due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of the more than 100,000 hardworking rank-and-file members of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 and our twenty-five affiliated Local Unions are continuing to work in order to provide essential goods and services to the citizens of Illinois and the nation during this most difficult time.
Our hard working Union members are continuing to build and maintain Illinois’s critical infrastructure and keeping necessary supply chains moving throughout the State during the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois is a critical hub between America’s East and West coasts and Teamsters play a crucial role in the national supply chain, ensuring Americans get the essential food, medicine and supplies they need during this national crisis. In addition, Teamsters play a larger role in Illinois’ day-to-day operations across nearly every industry and are actively battling the COVID-19 pandemic in numerous ways. Teamsters are employed as medical professionals, healthcare support staff, law enforcement, first responders, waste industry workers, freight and food supply chain workers, and engineers, just to name a few.
“Our rank-and-file membership is not only the backbone of the Illinois Economy day-in and day-out, but we are also on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Teamsters Council 25 President, Terrence J. Hancock. “Our members are the ambulance drivers, pharmacists, nurses, technicians, and other vital employees caring for COVID-19 patients as cases continue to rise within our home State. These heroic workers need our support and deserve our gratitude now more than ever.”


Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 represents over 100,000 members in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million members in North America.


Message From the Joint Council President

Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to take a moment to mention and formally recognize the hardworking Teamsters that are keeping this City, State, and our Country running at this time of National uncertainty. Our members are the backbone of the American economy. Collectively we keep advancing the country’s day to day agenda…for which we are all very grateful!

Some of you are working 12-hour shifts keeping our grocery stores stocked. Some of you are delivering packages containing critical medicine and related supplies. Some of you are on staff at local hospitals that are caring for COVID-19 patients. We will continue to do everything in this Union’s power to make sure our Teamster Brothers and Sisters are protected and respected while providing essential services and much needed security. We owe our undying gratitude to you, and thank you for continuing to keep America running amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of you, however, have been instructed to stay home. Some of you have been reluctantly laid-off. Some of you are worried about your family and loved ones and how they’ll make it through, without proper protective gear and/or a weekly paycheck. We will continue to do everything in this Union’s power to assist our Teamster Brothers and Sisters who continue to struggle through this turbulent period. We will continue to fight on your behalf, urging employers to expand paid leave for those affected by COVID-19, protecting workers from being overworked and undercompensated as some industries ramp-up production and services, pushing for legislation that provides relief to industries negatively affected by COVID-19, and keeping you informed about the latest health and safety alerts from government agencies.

All Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 Affiliates and their dedicated staffs including Teamsters Local 731, continue to work diligently on your behalf and well-being, and are committed to taking care of our hard working rank-and-file membership.

This is and shall continue to be job one!

In solidarity,

Terrence J. Hancock