SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Mayor Steinberg has requested that the city implement a new policy that requires all new city employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 before starting their jobs, effectively immediately.

The mayor issued the statement Friday, saying that the new standard would apply to those working in both public safety and non-public safety sectors, and would be required before they start their new jobs.

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“We look forward to negotiating in good faith with our labor partners about how to get every City employee vaccinated with the utmost urgency,” Mayor Steinberg said in a prepared statement.

Following is the letter that Mayor Steinberg sent to the city manager calling for vaccination of all new hires effective immediately:

“Dear Howard:

“We are facing an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases in Sacramento, and as a city government we must do all we can to protect our employees and the public. It is also our responsibility to adhere to the same health standards that other major employers, including private entities like the Sacramento Kings, are already implementing.

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“I understand that before we can impose a vaccination requirement on our existing unionized workforce we must meet and confer with our labor representatives. I know you are moving to complete this process as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, I am asking you to work with the City Attorney’s Office and Labor Relations team to require all new hires at the City of Sacramento, effective today, to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This mandate would apply to all prospective employees, including public safety employees.
Public and private employers throughout California are accepting directives to be vaccinated. By requiring vaccination, Sacramento will join state government, health systems, our schools and nearly every other major city in this state.

“Hundreds of people are testing positive daily in Sacramento County. As of Aug. 10, 348 people were hospitalized, the highest number since January. The ability of vaccinations to deliver us from this pandemic absolutely depends on more people getting vaccinated.

“The numbers don’t lie. The Delta variant is highly contagious. Vaccines are effective and virtually eliminate the risk of hospitalization and death. We simply can’t afford to lose another day. Thank you for your partnership in protecting the people of Sacramento.”

Through this action, Sacramento would join cities and states across the nation that are mandating vaccines for their employees. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently issued a mandate requiring all city employees to be vaccinated by September 13. Any of the city’s roughly 400,000 workers who don’t will be subject to weekly testing. Those who break the mandate can’t go to work and won’t be paid.

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Effective this month, California’s 238,000-plus government workers, along with its 2 million-plus healthcare workers, must be vaccinated or wear masks in a work environment.