Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel inspect passengers at O’Hare International Airport on November 8, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
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A union representing around 700,000 government employees on Tuesday called on the White House to allow workers through Jan. 4 to meet a Biden government vaccine mandate rather than a deadline just before Thanksgiving.
Most federal employees have until November 22nd to be immunized against Covid by order of the Biden administration. Federal entrepreneurs previously had until December 8, but the White House moved that deadline to January 4 last week. This gives these companies time until after the holidays to meet the deadline, which is in line with a new rule by the Department of Labor that private companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or undergo weekly tests.
The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents Transportation Security Administration officials, food inspectors, and tens of thousands of others, said it was unfair to set separate deadlines for federal contractors and federal employees.
“This double standard has created confusion and despair among federal employees as the people who do the work of government in the same environments have unequal treatment and incongruent deadlines,” AFGE president Everett Kelley wrote Tuesday to Shalanda Young, which Acting Director of the Office of Budget and Management, Kiran Ahuja, Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Human Resources; and Jeff Zients, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House.
“The morale effect of federal employees who may be disciplined at this time of year cannot be overstated,” Kelley wrote.
A federal employee could face dismissal or suspension for refusing to be vaccinated, but only after a period of training and counseling under the rules.
The White House did not immediately respond to the AFGE’s request.