Hamilton politicians have deadlocked on the city’s vaccination mandate for municipal employees.
Wednesday’s tie vote by city council, 6-6, means the policy will remain in place, and employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will be terminated.
“Those that fail to provide evidence of their full-vaccine status, as of May 31,” said General Manager of Human Resources, Lora Fontana, “their employment will be terminated on June 1.”
According to the city, 94 per cent of employees are fully vaccinated, so the ultimatum applies to the other six per cent – approximately 500 people.
Ward 8 Coun. John Paul Danko was among the six councillors voting to keep the policy in place.
“I think we do have to acknowledge that the people that are choosing not to be vaccinated, not because of the health reason, simply because they don’t want a vaccine,” said Danko, “I think we have to acknowledge the selfish entitlement that is involved there.”
It appeared that the City of Hamilton’s employee vaccination policy would be paused, following a 6-4 vote at the committee level on April 20.
Fontana’s report to the general issues committee had recommended suspending the policy in light of the province’s decision to lift vaccine mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.
Fontana has also indicated that staff “don’t feel confident that if we continued with the policy, particularly with termination of employment, that we would be supported in the courts.”
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