Two weeks after the Vaccine Mandate deadline of October 18th adopted by the City of Snoqualmie for employees, more than 90 percent of City staff have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Eight employees, or 7 percent of the workforce, have separated due to not complying with the mandate.
Four of these employees worked in the Public Works Division (represented by the Teamsters union), and three employees were police officers (represented by the Snoqualmie Police Association). One employee was a member of management and professional staff.
The city received 19 exemptions for evaluation, of which three were accommodated, making up 3 percent of the workforce.
- 15 religious accommodations were submitted; none were accommodated.
- 4 medical accommodations were submitted; of those, one employee chose to be vaccinated. The remaining three were accommodated.
The accommodated staff will have either no contact or very limited contact with the public and other requirements to provide a safe working environment. All three accommodations are limited to a short period before vaccination is required.
Only the International Association of Firefighters ratified an agreement with the city of the three unions (Fire, Police, and Teamsters). The Fire Department is fully vaccinated.
As the city recruits employees to fill vacancies, contingency plans for the different departments will ensure that service levels are retained. Proof of vaccination will be required for all future employees.
“Our vaccination rate for City employees mirrors the community we serve,” said Mayor Matt Larson, “providing a safe working environment for employees along with the public they interact with.” As of November 3rd, data from King County-Public Health shows 92.2 percent of residents in 98065 have had at least one vaccine dose, while 87.2 percent of residents have completed the vaccine series.
A spokesperson for the city of North Bend says their city staff (approximately 50 employees) is 89% vaccinated, with 11% asking for exemptions. They had no separations.
Eastside Fire & Rescue spokesperson Catherine Breault said six employees separated from the department; seven are on accommodated leaves of absence from the department, and three were moved to positions that do not require public interaction or interaction in a healthcare setting. No word on if Station 87 lost any employees.
The Snoqualmie Valley School District reported as of October 4th that 92.1% of Snoqualmie Valley’s 883 regular school staff verified they would be fully vaccinated by October 18th, and 7.9% received medical or religious exemptions.
[Information provided by the cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend, Eastside Fire & Rescue and the Snoqualmie Valley School District]