2021-10-22 06:13:28 –
Mayor of St. Paul Melvin Carter unveiled one of the state’s strictest COVID-19 vaccine policies on Thursday Presentation Almost all city officials need to complete the shot by the end of the year.
“Vaccine requirements because the test only provides a way to determine if someone already has a COVID after signing up, and does not protect unvaccinated individuals or individuals with whom they interact. Does not include test opt-out. “Mr. Carter said in an email sent to nearly 4,000 city officials.
St. Paul makes exceptions to those who qualify for medical facilities and religious exemptions, but those who do not comply with their obligations “cannot work and may be subject to disciplinary action,” Carter spokeswoman said. Peter Legget said.
Union leaders warn that this could lead to an already thin sector staff shortage due to pandemic budget cuts.
“My members want to choose what to put in their body,” said Mike Smith, president of St. Paul’s Firefighter Local 21.
Similar controversies have already taken place in cities across the country that are implementing vaccination mandates without test options. More than 150 police and firefighters in Seattle may not be allowed to work for at least a month while the city is considering an exemption request. According to the Seattle Times.. At least 46,000 city officials in New York will soon lose their salaries if they do not meet the mayor’s November 1 vaccination deadline. The New York Times reported..
However, obligations have also proven to be effective in increasing vaccination coverage. According to The Denver Post, 99% of 10,000 local government workers have complied with city requirements or have been exempted by the October 1 deadline.
“In our ongoing efforts to rebuild, the Minnesota Department of Health and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]The best way to prevent infection and reduce the spread of COVID is to get vaccinated, “Carter pointed out. Ramsey County Positive Rate, Has tripled since July.
Mark Ross, chairman of the St. Paul’s Police Federation, said the city needed to test all workers if health and safety were of paramount concern, a breakthrough incident occurred and the virus was transmitted. He pointed out that it may lead to.
“We can’t afford to lose one St. Paul’s cop. That’s our greatest fear, losing some of our workforce,” said about 75% of city cop vaccinated. Ross, who presumes to be receiving, said.
Carter, who will be reelected in November, has been hearing concerns about St. Paul’s police staffing for months as the pandemic is driving the rise in crime.Police chief Todd Axel asked the city council to assign An additional $ 3.1 million in his department We have guaranteed that the troops will be deployed at full capacity of 620 people throughout the year, rather than what the mayor proposed in 2022.
At a council field meeting at the Como Lakeside Pavilion last week, dozens of city officials from other departments spoke and urged Carter to consider alternatives to the test. Ross and Smith said they and other union leaders refused to sign a memorandum of understanding that could waive their members’ rights.
“As they did during this pandemic, our first responders are consistent with putting the safety of our community first every day. Overwhelming evidence and public health professionals In the face of strong nominations, we rely on vaccination to do the same to protect ourselves, our colleagues, and the general public we serve, “Legget said Thursday. Said in an email.
Members of the council asked the mayor to investigate vaccine obligations in August when other states and local governments announced their employees’ vaccine or testing requirements. The council had previously expressed disappointment with the speed of St. Paul’s policy development, but Thursday councilor Chris Tourbat said he was pleased to see the city take this step.
“The only way to get out of this pandemic is to get vaccinated to get out of the pandemic,” he said. “We are not asking anyone for what we did not do.”
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