Philadelphia places hundreds of prison workers and firefighters on furlough amid staffing shortages

Philadelphia began furloughing unvaccinated city workers as the city faced a staffing shortage among vital workers.

About 270 city employees have been furloughed for failing to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Under the 30-day “U-Vax furlough,” City of Philadelphia employees had to seek a warrant exemption or receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30 or face layoff, a reported the outlet. (RELATED: Philadelphia teens beat elderly man to death with traffic cone)

The administration of Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released data showing that more than 22% of Philadelphia firefighters and nearly 16% of police departments have filed for exemption, the outlet reported.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, city officials furloughed 22,000 unionized city workers, mostly firefighters and the Department of Prisons, for failing to comply with the vaccination mandate.

Data showed Philadelphia furloughed more than 5% of its unionized Prison Service workers and nearly 4% of the city’s unionized workers in the fire department, including firefighters, paramedics and paramedics. , the outlet reported.

The mayor’s office released a statement defending its decision to furlough the city’s unvaccinated union workers, saying they had “ample opportunity to come into compliance,” according to the outlet.

“Our goal has always been to keep our employees safe from the devastating impact of COVID-19, the statement read, the outlet reported. “We know that the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have to fight this virus.”

If the city continues to compel city employees to comply, it faces more than 16% of the city’s public safety employees with still pending vaccine mandate waiver requests, according to the point. of sale.