City staff have been asked to estimate the potential cost of dismissing up to 440 municipal employees, who are still not in compliance with Hamilton’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
A motion to that effect has been approved by the general issues committee, after being presented on Wednesday by Ward 7 Coun. Esther Pauls.
“We need to know the cost, we need to know that we’re transparent,” Pauls said.
The city’s head of human resources cautions that it’s going to be difficult to assign a dollar figure, because of an array of potential outcomes as it relates to litigation and other factors.
“There’s a number of variables and scenarios that we would be facing in litigation,” Lora Fontana said. “We also don’t know the number of employees that are affected.”
It is anticipated that some of the 440 employees who remain non-compliant with the policy, will receive the required vaccinations before the May 31 deadline.
“Hopefully that number will continue to decrease,” Fontana said.
When the estimated cost is presented to councillors, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said that it’s going to be a “one-sided” figure that doesn’t consider lost time due to illness, workplace safety and other pandemic-related costs.
The council-approved, city policy says non-compliant workers, who are either on unpaid leaves or undergoing rapid-antigen testing, will be fired as of June 1.
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