Milwaukee reports 95% of city employees vaccinated

City officials are calling its COVID-19 vaccination policy a "success" after reporting more than 95% of general city employees are in compliance with the policy.

However, there are more than 100 at risk of suspension or termination.

We don't know yet what departments those employees may be in, but officials say pre-disciplinary hearings are being set ahead of a possible unpaid suspension, then possible termination.

More than 3,000 employees are either vaccinated or provided religious or medical exemptions.

"We are so impressed with the compliance rate for our general city employees," said City of Milwaukee Chief Human Resource Officer Makda Fessahaye.

Fessahaye reported Monday that more than 95% of general city employees are in compliance with the city's COVID-19 vaccination policy...

General city employees include those in the department of public works, city clerk's office, department of administration, etc.

"95% compliance is excellent and if you grade that, that is an ‘A’ in school and our city employees did such an outstanding job," Fessahaye said.

The city's COVID-19 vaccination policy affects more than 3,100 employees, including temps and interns.

Last week was the deadline to provide proof of vaccination. Employees could also apply for medical or religious exemptions or face a maximum 30-day unpaid suspension with the possibility of losing their job.

"The 116 employees who are considered out of compliance with the policy may include the 29 individuals whose accommodation requests were denied."

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Mayor Tom Barrett released a statement Monday evening saying the numbers in compliance is 'Good news for our entire community. the more people who are vaccinated, the safer we all are."

"Of the 3,156 city employees subject to the vaccination requirement, 95.3% have complied, and that is good news for our entire community.  The more people who are vaccinated, the safer we all are," said Barrett.

The city says departments are in the process of adjusting plans to continue to provide services if suspensions or terminations take place.

Fessahaye says employees facing pre-disciplinary hearings can avoid the unpaid suspension if they can provide proof of vaccination or exemptions.

These numbers were released on the eve of another large city employer's vaccination requirement deadline: Milwaukee Public Schools.

Staff has until 11:59 p.m. Monday to submit proof of vaccination or submit to a weekly COVID-19 test to remain employed with MPS.

A policy that was unanimously approved by the school board in September and has the backing of the teacher's union.

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