The St. Paul police union filed a lawsuit this week against the city over requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of the year.
Mayor Melvin Carter announced this on October 21 in a video message sent out to some 4,000 workers in the city.
As the city discussed the proposed policy, St. Paul Police Federation President Mark Ross and a legal counsel met with city officials on October 7 and suggested that employees who were not “fully vaccinated” continue to work in the city if they wore masks and were tested frequently for COVID. 19, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.
The proposal would be similar to the policy in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minneapolis and Minnesota public schools, “all of which provide for the continued employment of non-fully vaccinated employees if the employee is subject to routine COVID-19 testing.” the lawsuit continued. “The federation has gone so far as to suggest that an employee be responsible for any costs associated with testing for COVID-19.”
In a subsequent meeting with representatives from several city unions, the unions “unanimously rejected” the city’s proposed mandate and reiterated their desire to use the testing option, the lawsuit said: “Even though the Federation and the city were unable to reach an agreement on COVID. -19 Vaccination policy, the city unilaterally introduced the policy. “
The vaccination policy sent out to city employees states that “they will not be allowed to work and disciplinary action may be taken” if they are not vaccinated.
Claiming unfair labor practices, the police union claims in a lawsuit that the policy “sets new terms of employment that the city has not agreed or reached an agreement with the Federation.”
A Carter spokesman planned to comment on the suit later Wednesday.