Thursday, October 28, 2021
Oct. 28, 2021

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Seattle reaches tentative deals with most city unions on COVID vaccinations, pandemic pay


SEATTLE — Seattle has reached tentative agreements with most of the labor unions that represent city employees on the city’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement and on pandemic pay, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Friday.

The tentative agreements, which must still be approved by union members and the City Council, are with the Coalition of City Unions and with unions representing firefighters, electrical line workers and parking enforcement officers but not with the union that represents police officers.

In August, Durkan issued a directive requiring city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18.

Under one tentative agreement announced Friday, employees who submit vaccination confirmation forms by Oct. 5 showing they’ll be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 would receive eight hours extra paid time off, Durkan’s office said.

As part of the deal, the unions have agreed with the city on processes for vaccination confirmations, exemptions, accommodations and separations, “with the goal to achieve employees being fully vaccinated,” the mayor’s office said. The office didn’t immediately provide details.

A second tentative agreement would pay $1,750 to city employees who have worked in person during the pandemic, Durkan’s office said.

“A vaccination requirement and frontline worker pay is the right thing to do to for our workforce,” the mayor said in a statement.

Shaun Van Eyk, co-chair of the Coalition of City Unions, said the tentative agreements honor Seattle’s essential workers and “create clear, transparent, and equitable pathways” with respect to the vaccination mandate.

Though the city began processing vaccination confirmation forms earlier this month, the mayor’s office has yet to release data on how many employees have submitted those forms and are vaccinated.

The city is negotiating sepaately with the Seattle Police Officers Guild and has yet to reach a tentative agreement on the vaccination requirement.