San Jose city officials, unions reach deal on vaccine mandate

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose city officials and its police and other unions have come to terms over a dispute about the city’s mandatory vaccine policy.

Amid warnings that dozens of police officers refusing the vaccine might resign or retire, the agreement came just hours after the Friday deadline for compliance.   

The union representing San Jose police and city officials burned the midnight oil early Friday to craft a deal that for now appears to avoid a scenario that might have seen dozens of officers resign or retire rather than get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The deal grants about 140 officers, 80 firefighters and a few dozen dispatchers who have refused the vaccine the option of submitting to a twice weekly COVID-19 test in lieu of the vaccine. 

As the deadline for compliance arrived, the agreement gives officer and other city employees refusing the vaccine a one-week grace period before any disciplinary action is taken.  

The testing will be done at employees own time and expense. 

Workers who have had one dose of vaccine by Oct. 1 will be given reasonable time to get the second shot.  After Dec. 31, those not fully vaccinated will face further discipline including termination. 

The deal prioritizes the ability to provide critical services without interruptions from exposures, says the mayor. 

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