SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Earlier this week, the city of San Jose told its workers that if they wish to continue working for the city, they will now need to show proof of getting the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month.
The city announced Wednesday that city employees will have to get vaccinated or have an approved medical religious exemption.
“The city is undertaking this action to ensure a safe working environment for its employees, protect the communities we serve, and support the county’s vaccination efforts,” the city said in a statement. “As a public agency, it is important for the city to lead by example in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.”
City employees who fail to submit proof of their vaccination status “may be subject to formal disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”
The city’s decision on mandatory vaccination comes weeks after they announced it was requiring public employees, including fire and police departments, to either submit either proof of vaccination status or submit weekly tests starting Aug. 23.
“At this point, 89% of our city workforce is fully vaccinated, that includes 91% of our fire and 82% of our police force staff,” said Carolina Camarena.
“We expect that that vaccination rate continues to evolve as employees update their status.”
Camarena tells KRON4 News that despite the high vaccination rate among city employees, they will continue to meet with all 11 labor unions to address the concerns of all 7,700 plus city employees.
“In fact, we’re meeting weekly with our unions, particularly our fire and police unions, they do have concerns, a few weeks ago they submitted a proposal,” said Camarena.
“And our current stage two proposal reflects the feedback we’ve received from unions, so we’re going to meet on a regular basis with our unions.”
City employees will have until Sept. 30 to show proof of vaccination status.