City of San Jose workers push back vaccine mandate
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The deadline is looming for all city employees to get vaccinated or face consequences that may include layoff in the city of San Jose.
Some employees, including police and firefighters, are pushing back the policy for fear that it will endanger public safety.
About 87% of San Jose City police officers and related staff have proven to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The others refused the vaccine for religious, medical or unspecified reasons.
Under a city policy in effect on September 30, cops, firefighters and other unvaccinated city workers could face consequences up to and including dismissal.
The police union says up to 140 officers could resign or retire endangering public safety, POA’s Sean Pritchard said.
About 8% of the city’s firefighters are not vaccinated amid concerns similar to those voiced by police. Citing the need to respect the safety of all workers in the city, 90% of whom are fully vaccinated, the city is moving forward with the policy while exploring all options, Mayor Sam Liccardo said.
The city’s 2,500-member federation of municipal employees chose to join the policy.
But police and firefighters want options like continuing the current policy that allows regular testing in place of vaccinations.