State government workers less vaccinated than the rest of NJ
For the first time, information has been released on the percentage of New Jersey state workers who are vaccinated.
During the Monday COVID update, Gov. Phil Murphy said while roughly 75% of New Jersey residents are vaccinated the percentage of state workers is lower than that.
“Across 50 state departments, agencies, authorities and commissions, 70% of all employees were reported as being fully vaccinated,” he said.
Not good enough
The governor said “the results are a starting place, not where we will wind up, it’s a good start but it’s going to get better, it needs to get better. We’re working with agencies, departments and unions on ways to get more of their employees vaccinated.”
He said any state employee who is not vaccinated must be tested on a regular basis for COVID, and anyone identified as being non-compliant is subject to disciplinary actions.
How many aren't following the rules?
When asked how many state workers are non-compliant, refusing to be vaccinated or get tested, Murphy said he did not know, and he indicated he was not sure which departments and agencies had the highest and lowest vaccination rates.
When he was then asked what type of disciplinary actions would be taken against non-compliant state workers, the governor referred the question to his chief counsel Parimal Garg.
What's the starting point for discipline?
“Any state employees who refuse to comply with the state’s vaccination or testing policy are subject to progressive discipline, up to suspension without pay and potentially termination,” Garg said.
"I don’t want to get into the specifics of every single disciplinary instance but agencies have a range of options in order to induce compliance,” he said.
Murphy added “it depends on where you work, what union you’re a part of. There are potentially different answers to that.”
State employees who are not vaccinated are required to be tested every week for the COVID virus.
The governor noted 43 of the agencies and departments reporting have vaccination rates at or above 75%.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.
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