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Mandatory masks and testing could be on the way for unvaccinated city employees

Tucson City Hall
Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 01:09:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Following the Arizona Attorney General's report released last week that said Tucson's vaccine mandate for city employees was illegal, the city council is looking for new ways to protect it's employees.

One of the options discussed is to have weekly testing and a mask mandate for unvaccinated employees.

"You don't have a right to place your coworkers at risk," Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik said. "You don't have a right to place the general public at risk."

So far, 3,273 of 3,957 employees have gotten at least one shot, the city said on Tuesday. That is roughly 83% of the employees.

"I really just want to express appreciation for our employees who overcame whatever hesitancy or barriers have previously kept them from getting vaccinated," Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich said. "I'm proud of our workforce. I think that 80-85 percent is significant, and we ought to reward as much as possible."

Some of the rewards that are being discussed include future pay raises as well as a floating holiday. The council is still aiming to get more of the city staff vaccinated and hopes that a legal battle with the state would allow their vaccine mandate ordinance to stand.