Aug 11, 2022 - News

Unvaxxed city employees get the boot

Illustration of a rope barrier with a vaccination card hanging from the rope section.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Kenney administration is firing 83 city employees over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, while thousands of others have won exemptions.

Why it matters: The terminations, announced on Tuesday, mark the end of the city's effort to fully enforce its vaccine mandate, which was announced in December 2021 but delayed several times due to pushback from police and firefighters unions.

What they're saying: Joy Huertas, a spokesperson for the administration, said the city does not expect "any operational impacts related to these terminations."

By the numbers: The firings account for a fraction of the city's 25,000 employees. 68 unionized workers will be fired, according to the city, while 15 non-unionized workers have already lost their jobs due to the mandate.

  • The Department of Streets accounted for the lion's share of firings with 39, followed by the Department of Prisons with 13.
  • Six police officers will lose their jobs for failing to get the vaccine.

Of note: The city does not have a final date for when all unionized employees will be fired due to issues related to their collective bargaining agreements, like accrued vacation time and other paid time off.

Zoom out: More than 2,800 employees have received religious or medical exemptions from getting the vaccine.

  • 187 exemption requests have been denied and 89 are pending an appeal.
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