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Government JB Pritzker has pushed back the vaccination deadline against COVID-19 for state employees at former servicemen’s homes, prisons and other mass facilities as his office negotiates with labor unions representing some workers.

Pritzker, who in August set an October 4 deadline for state workers as part of his requirement to receive the vaccine, said Friday that employees have by November 30 to be fully vaccinated, The Chicago Tribune reported. The workers are employed by the Departments of Corrections, Veterans Affairs, Human Services and Juvenile Justice.


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The Pritzker’s administration has entered into agreements with several unions representing state workers. But talks are on with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and Teamsters Local 700. AFSCME, which represents about 15,000 state workers affected by the need, called it a “stringent mandate”.

“This administration continues to work to protect vulnerable residents in our care or custody, so that state employees can receive the vaccine in different settings,” Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bittner said in a statement. The delay will give unions time to communicate with members and allow workers to get their vaccines, he said, adding that “we are working diligently to reach an agreement with the remaining two unions.”

Under the agreements reached so far, employees who do not comply with the mandate will face “progressive disciplinary measures,” which could result in dismissal. The agreements provide alternative COVID-19 testing options only for those with an accepted religious or medical objection.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has implemented a vaccine mandate for the city’s workers, went to court to block the chief of the police union from encouraging members to disobey the requirement to report vaccination status.