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812 workers from five city agencies in Boston are put on unpaid leave because they haven't been vaccinated

812 workers from five city agencies in Boston are put on unpaid leave because they haven't been vaccinated

812 city employees from public facing agencies were placed on unpaid leave after missing Tuesdays deadline for getting vaccinated or agreeing to undergo regular and repeated COVID-19 tests, according to city officials.

At a public appearance in Roxbury on Wednesday, Acting Mayor Kim Janey said the measure affects employees of five city departments that are included in the first phase of the vaccination or testing requirement for city workers. Boston Public Schools, BostonPublic Libraries, the Boston Center for Youth and Families, The Disability Commission, and the Age Strong Commission are the five departments.

We want to protect our workers, and we want the public that we serve, Janey said. So we will continue to work to ensure that this mandate is fulfilled, said Mr.

According to the city, 175 of the 812 workers placed on leave had filed paperwork to comply with the order by the end of day Wednesday, submitting either proof of their vaccine or negative test results. 637 of those employees are still on unpaid leave pending proof of their compliance, according to a spokeswoman.

The largest of the five departments is Boston Public Schools, which employs 11,000 people, including teachers, bus drivers, buses monitors, and school janitors. Other city agencies have earlier compliance deadlines, according to Janey. In total, the city employs 18,000 people.

Despite requests from the Globe, neither the city nor the school district provided a breakdown of the number of employees on unpaid leave in each agency. A spokeswoman said more detailed data was not available due in part to privacy concerns and in partly because the processing of verifications isn't automated.

We are putting together operational plans to ensure that we continue to provide the services that our residents deserve, Janey said.

In an e-mail to Xavier Andrews, a BPS spokesman, said the system has no significant disruptions to daily district operations.

Wednesdays morning bus performance on Wednesday showed little delay, matching the previous day, Andrews said, with 99 percent of buses arriving within 15 minutes of the start of school and 100 percent arriving in 30 minutes.

Separately, the Boston Teachers Union president said that close to 99 percent of its teachers are either vaccinated or have agreed to undergo the testing program. The union said that the compliance rate for paraprofessionals and applied behavior analysis specialists is 84,4 percent.

According to its website, the BTU also represents school nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors and substitute teachers, but the union did not provide compliance rates for those employees. On Wednesday, the leaders of the Boston school bus driver's union could not be reached.

We are pleased to report that nearly 99% of our teachers have successfully met the vaccine and testing requirements, Jessica Tang, the BTU's president, said in a statement. To ensure that people have access to life-saving vaccinations, the union has established a recurring vaccine clinic at our union hall in Dorchester, the statement added.

City employees who refuse to participate in the COVID-19 safety program will be fired, according to Janey.

The objective of the vaccine verification process, obviously, is to have as many employees vaccinated as possible, and that's what she emphasizes. The number [of refusals] is falling each day, which is a testament to all of the work that our team is doing to ensure that people have access to the testing that individuals, certainly can choose to get vaccinated.

Last Wednesday, the administration revealed that 1,400 city workers had not presented evidence they had been vaccinated or had agreed to participate in routine COVID-19 testing as part of the effort Janey announced Aug. 13 to combat the highly contagious virus.

Since then, almost 600 have complied, leaving 812 people without their regular paychecks, city officials said.

Leaders of the teachers union said they will continue to assist members who need assistance verifying their status, whether as a vaccinated person or if they elect to participate in the testing program.

School district officials are also continuing to work to assist workers, with COVID-19 testing at bus yards and schools, and frequent vaccination clinics. The district has had dozens of such clinics in recent weeks, according to Andrews, the BPS spokesman, while also sending reminders to employees about the vaccination mandate and deadline. The district translated verification forms into Spanish and Haitian Creole, and sent workers to its central kitchen and other work hubs to collect paper copies of vaccine verifications in person.

Our compliance rate is steadily increasing, he added.

Jeremiah Manion of the Globe Staff contributed to this article.

John R. Ellement is a global communications professional who can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Jenna Russell can be reached at jenn.russell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @jrussglobe and follow her at @JrusSglobE.

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