Proposal Requires Vaccinations for City Employees
More than 6,000 city workers would need to get vaccinated or face weekly testing.
A resolution pending before the Common Council would require City of Milwaukee employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo regular COVID-19 testing.
“All City employees deserve to work in an environment where the risk of infection by COVID-19 has been minimized, and this legislation will help us create that safer workplace,” said sponsor Alderman Robert Bauman in a press release announcing the proposal’s introduction.
Bauman’s proposal would require vaccinations or weekly testing. Should any employees elect for weekly testing, they would also be required to wear a face mask at all times. No incentive is included with the policy, nor would the policy apply to contractors working at city facilities.
As of June, the city has a total of 6,239 active employees.
The Department of Employee Relations would be tasked with creating the official policy, including how vaccinations are verified. Employees not wishing to comply with the vaccination or testing requirement will not be permitted to work and could be subject to disciplinary action. The city’s human resources department would be given one month to implement the policy upon council adoption.
But unless the council calls a special meeting, it will be September before such a requirement can be adopted. The council is currently on its regularly scheduled August recess.
Bauman is likely to easily find six votes in support of his proposal. Council members Marina Dimitrijevic, Cavalier Johnson, Nik Kovac, Nikiya Dodd, JoCasta Zamarripa and Jose G. Perez sent a letter to Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson last week calling for a policy similar to Bauman’s be enacted. They also called for a proposal to restore the city’s indoor mask mandate if case counts continue to climb.
Adoption of the policy would require at least eight votes.
Residents of the 53203 ZIP Code, which encompasses the Westown neighborhood, have a best-in-the-city vaccination rate of 69.1%, while residents of the 53206 ZIP Code have a city-worst vaccination rate of 29.6% according to state data.
The gap grows when looking at census tracts, with the Cambridge Woods neighborhood achieving a vaccination rate of 98.9% while a tract along N. 60th St. just north of W. Silver Spring Dr., is at 21.3%.
A city vaccination policy would emulate one being instituted or considered by a variety of employers, including Walmart, Walt Disney Company and EPIC Systems, the largest private employer in Dane County.
- UW System Vaccination Rates Vary Widely - Rich Kremer - Sep 18th, 2021
- MKE County: COVID-19 Cases Still High in Milwaukee County - Graham Kilmer - Sep 17th, 2021
- Milwaukee Health Department excusing inaction with insufficient data, right-wing talking points - Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association - Sep 16th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Delivers Radio Address on New Investments to Support Local COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Recovery - Gov. Tony Evers - Sep 16th, 2021
- UWM reaches 70% vaccination rate goal, pushes for more - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Sep 16th, 2021
- Data Wonk: Biden Vaccine Plan Helps GOP Governors - Bruce Thompson - Sep 15th, 2021
- Gov. Evers, DHS Remind Wisconsinites to Get Vaccinated to Get $100 - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Sep 15th, 2021
- American Family Field COVID-19 Testing Site Closing - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 14th, 2021
- For Ron Johnson, Prolonging the Pandemic is Just Another Day at the Office - Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Sep 14th, 2021
- Nursing Home Workers Resist Vaccines - Madeline Fuerstenberg - Sep 13th, 2021
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