The deadline arrived Thursday for San Jose city employees and California health care workers to prove they’ve been vaccinated as a condition of employment.
The vast majority of San Jose city workers already provided proof of vaccination, with some notable holdouts, including one reserve police officer who chose to resign.
“Our goal is to make sure that employees are vaccinated,” said Jennie Loft, City of San Jose spokesperson.
Overall, 91% of all San Jose city employees are vaccinated, including 87% of the police department's workforce and 92% of fire department staff, according to data from two weeks ago.
Both public safety unions are pushing the city for flexibility for the remaining employees who are either unvaccinated or don’t want to provide proof of vaccination. Those few who are granted religious or medical exemptions eventually must show negative COVID-19 tests twice a week.
Thursday also is the deadline for health care workers in California to show proof of vaccination. That includes anyone who works in a hospital.
As of two weeks ago, 90% of Kaiser employees were fully vaccinated, while Stanford Health workers were at 94% and Sutter Health workers were at 91%.
There have been anti-mandate protests several times outside of San Jose City Hall since the Aug. 23 announcement.
Another Stop the Mandate rally was planned by health services workers in Contra Costa County for Thursday.
The San Jose POA has previously pushed back, asking instead for the option of testing.
“If the city moves to take them off the streets, terminate their employment, we're barely holding on as a department right now. That would decimate this police department,” said Sean Pritchard, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association.
We expect to learn more from the city and unions on Friday morning.
Around the Bay, Oakland is mandating its employees be fully vaccinated by November 1 and so is San Francisco.
But for those in who work in high-risk settings like police officers have until October 13.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 267 officers are still unvaccinated and police chief Bill Scott is laying out plans in case they refuse to get it.
If there are suspensions or layoffs, they may pull those officers working behind desks to go back on patrol.