MILWAUKEE -- The City of Milwaukee will require all general city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning September 1, Mayor Tom Barrett announced Tuesday.
The new mandate is the result of the FDA's recent formal authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and follows "comprehensive reviews" by both the Milwaukee Health Department and the City's Department of Employee Relations, a news release says.
Unvaccinated employees will have until Friday, October 29 to provide proof of vaccination. If they do not, they will face an unpaid suspension for up to 30 days. Continued failure of the policy will result in termination.
“We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees, and a vaccinated workforce is part of that,” Mayor Barrett said. “A vaccinated workforce also helps protect members of the public who interact with employees, as well as family members of City employees.”
The new mandate includes temporary employees and interns, but does not include union-represented employees. The City says it "remains in discussion" with public employee unions about vaccination requirements.
Mayor Barrett estimated the vaccination requirement applies to up to 4,000 people total.
Employees will receive up to two hours of paid leave to get their vaccinations. The new policy also includes provisions for exemptions based on specific medical or religious criteria.
"I think what you're seeing here at the city is an example of what you're seeing locally and throughout the nation. As more and more employers, both public and private, are now determined to do everything we can. From a safety standpoint, and a health standpoint, to end this pandemic," Mayor Barrett said.
More information courtesy of the City of Milwaukee:
The Milwaukee Health Department provides free COVID-19 vaccinations at the Northwest Health Center located at 7630 W. Mill Rd. and at the Southside Health Center located at 1639 S. 23rd St. Both locations are open on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additionally, the Milwaukee Health Department will host vaccination clinics for City employees at various locations. Hours and locations of the vaccination clinics will be provided in the coming days. Employees can also go to their healthcare provider or local pharmacies for free administration of the vaccine.