COVID-19 vaccine not mandatory for current St. Pete city employees, required for new hires

Coronavirus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) – St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman sent a video message to city employees last week explaining the city’s vaccine policy.

“I’m not going to fight my own employees because we need to fight this virus together,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman in the video that was posted to the city’s YouTube page last Friday.

Mayor Kriseman is not mandating the vaccine for current employees as that decision would present many challenges.

“One of the things you have to ask yourself is what are the consequences or more importantly unintended consequences of that policy. And I felt was there were a couple of unintended consequences that would result from that policy,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

However, the city is requiring all new hires to be fully vaccinated something the Mayor said isn’t a bargainable issue but just another requirement for the job.

“This is just another requirement we added. That way we make sure anybody who comes on isn’t coming in and bringing into the workplace potentially a problem in maybe having COVID which is something that we could have possibly avoided,” added Mayor Kriseman.

There are some perks for those city workers who are vaccinated or choose to get vaccinated. If employees get vaccinated during businesses hours, they will be paid to be off for two hours.

If vaccinated employees were to get the virus or have to quarantine, they’ll get paid emergency sick leave, which will not affect their original sick leave time or accruals. However, unvaccinated employees will not get paid with the emergency sick leave.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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