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Encinitas, SEIU Local 221 come to agreement on COVID-19 vaccine for employees

ENCINITAS — Encinitas and the Service Employees International Union Local 221 have reached an agreement requiring all represented employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, it was announced today.

The agreement is similar to COVID-19 protocols for non-union employees, which were announced on Aug. 17.

“I want to thank the SEIU leadership and their members for working with our management team on this very important matter,” said City Manager Pamela Antil. “This agreement will allow all of us to continue doing our part to keep our employees and our community as safe as possible.”

All city of Encinitas employees — including the 111 employees represented by SEIU, the largest union at the city — will need to show proof of vaccination beginning Oct. 7, which will mark 45 days since the Federal Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer vaccine. This move is due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout San Diego County, a statement from the city said.

“We at the city of Encinitas are holding ourselves to a higher standard of safety,” said Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “We do not want to be the cause of any infections and we know the vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We want people to have the confidence when they come into City Hall to conduct business or when our employees enter their homes that we are doing all we can to protect them,” she concluded.

The city’s management team will continue to talk with the city’s Fire Union, representing 50 employees — including firefighter/paramedics who have agreed to have the remaining 36% of unvaccinated employees in their ranks be tested weekly — but remain against the city’s mandatory vaccine requirement.