BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston city workers now have another week to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to be in compliance with Mayor Michelle Wu’s mandate.
Employees have until Sunday to submit proof of vaccination or else they face discipline that can include being placed on unpaid leave.
Wu announced during a press conference Monday that 18,270 Boston city workers, which breaks down to more than 94 percent, are in compliance with the new policy.
“I’m incredibly encouraged by this progress and we continue to have very productive conversations with our union partners about the collective bargaining impacts and we are giving this one more week to make sure we realize that progress,” she said.
Almost every city department has a more than 90 percent vaccination rate, according to Wu.
Boston Public Schools’ vaccination rate is at 94 percent, Boston police are at more than 95 percent, Boston fire is at 91 percent, Boston Public Library is at 95 percent, Inspectional Services is at 96 percent, and the Parks Department is at 97 percent.
Several departments have a 100-percent vaccination rate, Wu said.
“Across our workforce, everyone is trying to do the right thing and we know how important vaccinations are to keeping individuals and families and our communities safe,” Wu added.
The mandate has sparked some controversy.
Dozens of firefighters stood outside City Hall Monday morning in protest as Wu spoke about the mandate.
This comes just days after members of the Boston firefighters union, Local 718, rallied against the vaccine requirement in Dorchester, saying that Wu’s policy violates a prior collective bargaining agreement.
The union added that they’ll be appealing a judge’s decision not to block the city’s vaccine mandate.
“We’re the people that showed up in the beginning of this pandemic when no one knew what this virus could do to us and our families,” said Edward Kelly, general president of the International Association of Firefighters. “We answered every single call for the citizens of Boston.”
The union is calling on Wu to keep a weekly testing option in fear that hundreds of firefighters could be terminated when the policy is officially implemented.
“We deserve to be treated better,” Kelly said. “We deserve to be treated fairly and we intend to stand up for our members.”
Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey said he is confident there will be no impact in keeping the people of Boston safe.
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