Gov. Ned Lamont, D., is placing non-compliant state employees on unpaid leave through next week
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, D., of his state National Guard On alert, asking him to plan proactive deployments to replace state workers he’s prepared to cut from payroll for refusing to comply with his COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Lamont warned Thursday that state agencies need to be prepared for staff shortages next week, when nearly a quarter of state employees are being placed on unpaid leave if they find themselves in “non-compliance situations” of their orders. “live in, they need to get either Vaccination Or submit for weekly testing for the coronavirus.
“I remain optimistic that our staff will submit their testing and vaccination information quickly,” Lamont said in a statement. “But as we have done during the pandemic, we will prepare for the worst to prevent the effects of the vital services the state provides.
“We have provided most state employees with the option of getting tested weekly rather than vaccinated, which provides more flexibility than our neighboring states,” the governor said. “We have also provided our employees with a compliance grace period.”
“There’s no reason why all of our employees shouldn’t be in compliance,” Lamont said. “I continue to rely on state employees to lead by example and respect our coworkers and the public by following this executive order, which is the law.”
According to the state’s latest figures, 63% of Connecticut state employees — more than 20,000 — have provided documents necessary to prove they have been vaccinated, while another 4,000 have begun their weekly testing. Meanwhile, the 8,000 workers, about 25% of the state’s workforce, thus far are not living up to the mandate.
In the meantime, the Connecticut National Guard says members are prepared to step in and work as state employees continue to be out and are eventually placed on leave.
The Guard said in a statement, “Members of the Connecticut National Guard have worked to support this state during this pandemic in its ability to deliver food to people in need of PPE from skilled nursing facility inspections to health districts and first responders.” stepped up.” “Now, at this stage of the pandemic, we may need to support potentially critical activities.”
“We are closely monitoring critical areas and key positions, along with our other agencies and the governor’s office, that may be affected by labor shortages, and we are looking at options to fill critical capacity gaps,” the statement said. are doing.”
Lamont is at least the second governor in the country to have threatened to call on the National Guard to replace staff who have rejected its chief executive’s coronavirus orders.
Over the weekend, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, D, became the first to announce she would use National Guard members to replace thousands of health care workers in the state who didn’t get vaccinated by Hochul’s deadline earlier this week. to face termination.