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City of Victoria staff vaccine mandate sees 25 put on unpaid leave

98 per cent of staff produced proof of vaccination ahead of Jan. 5 deadline
Unvaccinated staff at the City of Victoria have three months to produce proof of vaccination, or face possible further action, including termination. (Black Press Media file photo)

The City of Victoria has placed 25 staff members on unpaid leave after they failed to comply with a recently enacted vaccine mandate.

The mandate took effect Wednesday, Jan. 5. A total of 98 per cent of city staff were able to produce proof of vaccination ahead of the date, said head of engagement Bill Eisenhauer. The remaining 25 were placed on leave and given three months to produce a vaccine record before next steps, including termination, are considered.

The unvaccinated staff are located widely throughout city departments, Eisenhauer said, adding implementation of the policy is having no immediate impact on service levels. Although city council members were not a part of the vaccine mandate as elected officials, each produced their own proof of double vaccination prior to the announcement on Nov. 2.

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The mandate aligned with those recommended by BC Public Service, Eisenhauer said.

At the time of the policy announcement, Victoria city manager Jocelyn Jenkins called vaccines “the strongest prevention measure we have against COVID-19,” adding that the vaccine requirement “will continue to protect employees in all of our workplaces, as well as members of the public who we interact with.”

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