Unvaccinated Los Angeles city workers to fork over $130 a week for testing, given two more months to comply

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Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week that those who refuse vaccination should prepare to lose their jobs

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According to a plan passed by lawmakers on Tuesday, Los Angeles city workers who haven’t been vaccinated will have to fork out more than $130 each week to cover COVID-19 testing but not get shots or lose their jobs. There will be a long time frame to lose.

City workers originally had until October 20 to be fully vaccinated, but they now have until December 18. Over the extended period, unvaccinated workers will be deducted $65 twice a week from their pay to cover the cost of weekly testing, or $260 per pay period.

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The plan was approved in a 13-0 vote. Councilor Jose Buscaino was absent from Tuesday’s meeting and Councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas has been suspended after being indicted in a federal corruption investigation.

The city has been negotiating its vaccine mandate with labor unions for weeks. Service Workers International Union Local 721, the union that represents thousands of city workers, said it had “exhausted all avenues for an agreement” with the city.

“We do not agree with the city’s vaccine mandate ordinance, nor do we agree with how they are implementing it,” the union said in a statement.

The council passed an ordinance in August requiring city employees to be vaccinated unless they were exempt for medical or religious reasons. The requirement became a condition of employment last week.

Workers seeking such exemptions would be tested twice weekly, but would be reimbursed if exempted.

Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned activists who were hesitant to comply with the mandate.

“Let me make it clear: any employee who refuses vaccination by this date should be prepared to lose their job,” he said in a statement. “Staff must be vaccinated by December 18th, and we are implementing a rigorous testing program in the meantime.”

A health worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in this October 5, 2021, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

Employees who haven’t been vaccinated will be required to sign a notice instructing them to submit proof of vaccination by the December 18 deadline. The plan states that failure to sign the notice or comply with it will result in “immediate corrective action.”

About 77% of the city’s 53,000-member workforce have been partially vaccinated, last informed of. Another 5,151 employees have requested exemptions – 4,287 citing religious reasons and 864 applying for medical exemptions.


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