Local lawmaker pushes alternative for unvaccinated workers ahead of mandate deadline

Oct 11, 2021, 8:47 AM | Updated: 12:48 pm
COVID vaccine mandate...
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

With hundreds of Seattle Police Department officers and King County Sheriff’s deputies having yet to submit their proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a local lawmaker is pushing for an alternative for the city and county’s upcoming vaccine mandate.

SPD reports a third of officers haven’t provided proof of vaccine ahead of deadline

A vaccine mandate for Seattle and King County workers takes effect on Oct. 18. Employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 could face termination.

As of late last week, nearly 300 SPD officers and 200 King County Sheriff’s deputies had yet to submit proof of vaccination. The Seattle Police Officers Guild also remains one of the few city unions that has yet to reach an agreement with Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office on the logistics of the mandate.

The mayor’s office reached a deal with the Coalition of City Unions, Seattle Fire Fighters Union Local 27, and IBEW Local 77 in late September. That agreement grants members of those unions several incentives for getting fully vaccinated, including eight extra hours of paid time off, and up to 80 hours of paid leave for COVID-related reasons.

Given the more unsettled status of local law enforcement, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is petitioning Durkan and County Executive Dow Constantine, asking that they offer a weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated workers as an alternative.

King County reaches deal with ‘majority’ of unions on vaccine mandate

“I am growing increasingly concerned that these mandates will force hundreds, if not thousands, of dedicated public servants out of their jobs,” Dunn wrote, noting that the city and county mandate is more strict than a national mandate from President Joe Biden, which allows for weekly testing.

“Mass termination of our government employees would result in staffing shortages and cripple our ability to serve the public in the way in which we are obligated,” he added.

In early October, interim SPD Chief Adrian Diaz issued a letter to his department “asking anyone who has not yet submitted (proof of vaccination) to please get it done,” citing the risk of “a disruption to unit of assignments.”

Dunn expressed similar concerns, further pointing to recent increases in gun violence and homicides across Seattle and King County.

Local News

Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Nick Bowman

Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was among nine Republicans who voted in favor of holding Steve Bannon in contempt on Thursday.
10 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Explosions heard during fire in Bellevue

Several people in Bellevue reported hearing explosions in the area of a large fire Thursday night.
1 day ago
Tacoma shooting...
MyNorthwest Staff

Police search for suspects in Tacoma shooting that left four people dead

Tacoma police say two women and two men were killed in a shooting Thursday.
1 day ago
Kathryn Altena

King County Board of Health delays vote to repeal bike helmet law

After a public hearing on a proposed repeal of King County's bike helmet law, the county board of health decided to delay their vote.
1 day ago
jim walsh, washington lawmaker...
Heather Bosch

Washington lawmaker is locked out of capitol over COVID vaccine mandate

A Washington state lawmaker says he's been locked out of the state capitol in Olympia over the COVID vaccine mandate.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Sammamish scores top spot on list of best small US cities to live in

A new list has crowned Sammamish, Washington, the nation's best small city to live in, marking the latest in a string of recent accolades.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Local lawmaker pushes alternative for unvaccinated workers ahead of mandate deadline