BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu says she will be giving Boston city workers an extra week to show proof of vaccination. Wu said the new deadline will be January 30, in a press conference at city hall on Monday morning.
Word of the postponement went out Sunday, just one day before the day when workers were to submit their vaccination status. Those who do not show proof of vaccination by the deadline will be disciplined or placed on unpaid leave.
Mayor Wu said the decision came as the city has had "very productive conversations" with unions.
"We are giving this one more week to make sure we are realizing this progress," she said. Wu said overall, 94% of the city's employees are vaccinated, and broke down the vaccination rate by department with Boston Fire at 91%, Boston Police at more than 95%, and the Parks department at 97%.
Around 70 members of the Boston Fire Department were protesting outside city hall as Wu made the announcement.
Sam Dillon, a Boston Firefighter and a union representative for Boston Fire Local 718, said though he hopes the discussions continue, the mayor's actions to set up the mandate were "not done in good faith," and went against a prior agreement.
"At the end of the day, the Mayor broke that collective bargaining agreement," he said.
This is the second time the mayor has pushed back the deadline, and Wu said this would be the last postponement. The initial deadline was on Jan. 15, but Mayor opted to push back the deadline until Sunday, Jan. 23.
Since the vaccine mandate for city workers was first announced on Dec. 20, the city has reported over 1,600 workers submitted their proof of vaccination for the first time, according to the city.
As of Monday, 18,270 city employees have shown their proof of vaccination.
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.