Mandatory vaccines on the way for more NJ state workers?
With the Delta variant continuing to surge, Gov. Phil Murphy has announced workers at New Jersey long-term care and assisted living facilities and employees at county jails, prisons and other high risk congregate settings must be vaccinated or begin getting mandatory regular COVID testing by Sept. 7, or they will lose their jobs.
During the latest COVID update in Trenton on Monday, the governor suggested mandatory vaccinations or testing could soon be expanded.
“I think you should expect us that we would likely take more steps and sort of broaden out the universe over time,” he said.
When pressed for specifics, Murphy said “the Port Authority and NJ Transit are two organizations that we’re looking at seriously. I don’t have any news to break for you right now.”
Fran Ehret, the New Jersey state director of the Communication Workers of America, which represents many state workers, issued the following statement to New Jersey 101.5:
“CWA always has the health and safety of both our members and the public at the forefront of our mind. We look forward to working with the Murphy Administration and having cooperative discussions to ensure public health, while also respecting bargaining. The state colleges and universities have already proposed that workers – both CWA-represented and otherwise — be subject to mandatory vaccination. We’ve been reviewing that proposal internally already, and look forward to bargaining with the State on it."
Last week officials in New York City announced all city workers will be required to get a vaccine or submit to regular weekly COVID testing.
The governor also noted private companies have the same right to require vaccinations or regular testing for their workers.
He also noted discussions are taking place on the idea of offering some kind of monetary incentive to get more people vaccinated, possibly $100.
He said masking indoors is strongly recommended but remains voluntary, however that could change.
“The virus dictates the terms here, not us,” he said.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com