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Lamont delays suspension of state employees yet to comply with vaccine mandate

Covid-19 Vaccine
Scott Heins
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Ninety-six percent of Connecticut executive branch employees are complying with Governor Ned Lamont’s vaccination or test mandate. That prompted the governor to put off suspending employees who did not meet Monday’s deadline for compliance.

Rob Baril, president of SEIU District 1199, one of the unions in the state employee bargaining coalition, SEBAC, said non-compliant workers are not against the COVID-19 vaccine, they are just tardy.

“What we requested was an extension that would have allowed a three week period with weekly testing of staff. For folks to be able to work out through the union an arrangement that would make sense and we don’t move to that crisis place,” Baril said.

The union coalition said it appreciates the governor’s decision to delay enforcement of suspensions.

“It would be ideal to get more time. We understand the safety of the whole vaccine thing. We were there and will always be there as a coalition to encourage it as well,” said Carl Chism, who heads SEBAC.

At least 78% of the 32,000 state employees affected by Lamont’s mandate had reported that they were fully vaccinated. About 18% opted for weekly tests and only 4% were yet to submit documentation.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.