City sets out vaccination rules for its employees

By Pepper Parr

October 7th, 2021



While the vast majority are choosing to be vaccinated – there are holdouts.

City Hall is getting to the point where they want to take a stronger position and insist that people be vaccinated in order to be able to go to work.

City manager Tim Commisso talked to a Standing Committee yesterday on what has been learned to date on the status of staff vaccinations: Who has and who hasn’t?

The surveying work being done is not yet complete and Commisso was a little hesitant in putting out numbers that were not as complete as he wanted them to be – so he offered no data. He did say there was a metric – comes out as kind of the percentage that is vaccinated.

The city deadline for responses from Staff of what their vaccination status is was last Friday. Data was collected in a very private, kind of confidential way.

Commisso wants to be able to provide the percentage of staff that fall into the three options.

“One of the things that we’re finding is the level of non declaration or however it’s positioned because obviously it’s the first thing that we asked.

“A real number for us is, what is the percentage of our total staff that are vaccinated? That’s where we’re focusing on right now.

“The survey work is being done by a security company under contract.  Boyd reported that they are spending eight hours a day, inputting all of our staffs status in a spreadsheet for us.  We should expect to have kind of a good realistic solid number by mid next week which would make it October 13th or so.”

The reporting options are: vaccination; Testing and exemptions

Commisso wants to know : What are the percentages for each category?

Executive Director Human Resources Laura Boyd

The federal government has taken the approach that you get vaccinated by a certain day – if you’re not, you’re on unpaid leave. And then if you’re still not by the end of the unpaid leave you’re terminated.

There are consequences for those who choose not to be vaccinated.

“At the city what we’ve said to our employees is, if you’re not going to be vaccinated then you have to be tested regularly.  And if the tests are negative they can continue to come to work, we won’t have to terminate we won’t have to put them on unpaid leave.”

Boyd was then asked to clarify: ” Am I recalling correctly from the last time we had this conversation that we are supporting staff who are unable or choose not to get vaccinated by allowing the repetition and testing, which is great.

“And my understanding was is that the city was going to cover the cost of that for a certain period of time and then the cost would be transferred to the employee. Am I understanding that correctly?”

Boyd replied.  “Yes, Absolutely we are covering the cost of the rapid testing up until November 26;  after November 26 If they continue to choose not to be vaccinated they will have to arrange to pay for the testing themselves and submit the data to us.”


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to City sets out vaccination rules for its employees

  • Penny Hersh

    What is wrong with this city? Are they so afraid of being sued by their unvaccinated employees that they will risk the health of residents who could come in contact with these employees?

    Why should the taxpayers of Burlington pay for rapid testing for Covid 19 for city employees who refuse to be vaccinated until November 26th? At the very least, these employees should be paying for their own testing and also be placed in positions where all these unvaccinated employees can work together in isolation.

    Presently the unvaccinated children under 12 are becoming the latest victims to Covid 19 through no fault of their own. The City holds programs for young children, including swimming lessons. Should they be? Seniors in some situations are lining up for a round of Covid 19 booster vaccinations and they have no idea which employees in the city facilities, that they come in contact with, are unvaccinated.

    Why the delay in dealing with this problem? Why is the city dealing differently with this issue than other work sectors that deal with the public. No vaccination – you go on unpaid leave. If you still don’t want to be vaccinated you lose your job.

    November 26th is the magic date that taxpayers won’t have to be paying for these rapid tests, but no deadline for employees to be vaccinated to keep their jobs.

    For those who feel they have the right not to be vaccinated I would like to say that employers have the right not to put others in jeopardy, and act accordingly.