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Putting numbers into perspective

Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’re seeing a number of headlines this week about people quitting over vax/testing mandates, but the numbers aren’t generally being put into perspective. For instance, here’s Reuters

United Airlines said on Tuesday nearly 600 U.S.-based employees faced termination after failing to comply with the carrier’s vaccination policy.

That’s less than 1 percent of the airline’s workforce of 67,000. And some of those folks might still cave.

* Further down in the story

A company spokesperson said the airline plans to hire about 25,000 people over the next few years, and vaccination will be a condition of employment for all new hires. […]

United received 700 applications for about 400 job postings last month at a Denver career fair. Similarly, it has received more than 20,000 applications for about 2,000 open positions for flight attendants, the spokesperson said

Those 600 people are not even a rounding error.


Six firefighters in Naperville are suing the city, Governor Pritzker and Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare over COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandates.

The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to decide if the government can force a public employee to take a vaccine. Firefighters in Naperville said the mandate is a violation of their constitutional rights. […]

The firefighters allege the order violates first responders’ “fundamental right to their bodily autonomy, and to make health decisions in accordance with their beliefs and conscience.”

“Plaintiffs are a group of heroes who have risked their lives time and time again from the beginning of the pandemic through today,” an attorney for the firefighters said. “Now, the governor is trying to scapegoat these heroes, despite the consensus of the scientific community, and in violation of the law.”

The latest headcount numbers I could quickly find

Number of employees at Fire Department Of Naperville in year 2018 was 193. Average annual salary was $100,773 and median salary was $104,066.

So, 3 percent of the staff is suing. Not exactly a tsunami. And this handful of folks is taking the risk of losing their nicely paying gigs if they lose and stand by their “principles,” and those jobs probably won’t be too difficult to fill. Lots of folks want to be a firefighter.


  1. - Jibba - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 11:45 am:

    ===received more than 20,000 applications for about 2,000 open positions===

    So much for that tripe that Americans don’t want to work. They just want to work jobs that pay decently. Fast food barely pays for the child care.

  2. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 11:45 am:

    I’d much rather have folks comply and get vaccinated. However, if the end result is the fringe element gets removed from positions of responsibility and further marginalizes itself, so be it.

  3. - Manchester - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    Here’s hoping their lawsuit goes nowhere. Get your shot or lose your well paying job with an income that most people can only dream of.

  4. - Tom - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    “despite the consensus of the scientific community”?

    The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is vaccines work.

  5. - JT11505 - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    “…despite the consensus of the scientific community…” What scientific community is he talking about? The one that most rational people recognize says “Get vaccinated.”

  6. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    As they say, the squeaky wheel gets all the grease or at least the media’s attention. Meanwhile, the responsible ones are pointing out that the engine is on fire.

  7. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    To the fire fighters - I don’t know. But those 6 could all be ready to retire and really aren’t risking anything to try and prove a point.

  8. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    The lie that “dozens” of Mass. state troopers were resigning had traveled around the world about a thousand times via a gullible reporter’s tweet, before it turned out that the sum total of actual resignations submitted is 1.
    Almost every one of these guys is making more in these 6-figure public sector jobs than he could make doing literally anything else. Call their bluff, the ones who quit are going to be your dog employees anyway.

  9. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    If the media would focus on vaccine facts and the success of mandates instead of the relatively few, very loud protesters fighting the vaccine, we’d be in a far better place ending the pandemic.

    Besides, nobody owes you a job.

  10. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    Part of the lawsuit discovery should be to subpoena the fire fighters medical records to see if they have had other vaccinations. If so, toss the suit as frivolous.

  11. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    Quit your $100k/yr no to not take a shot? Your qualifications will be welcome in Southern Illinois, where there isn’t a vaccine requirement, for a PT firefighter gig or a FT time one making 40-50% less, your choice. See no freedom being infringed on, you still have a choice.

  12. - Jake - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    The word hero is thrown around too easily these days, and shouldn’t the used as a shield.

  13. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    I’ve yet to see or hear a cogent argument from the anti-vax crowd. Resistance is typically illogical (often ideological) and rooted in crazy conspiracy theories. Probably not the people that you would want to work around or rely on for vital services and public safety.

  14. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    That’s freedom in operation. Your employer is free to slap conditions on your employment, you are free to move on elsewhere.

  15. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    Can the workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated receive unemployment benefits?

    I’ll take my answer off the air.

    – MrJM

  16. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    CNN is reporting a NC hospital group fired about 175 employees, out of more than 35,000, for refusing the vax.

    The story goes on to say they hired 150 new employees.

  17. - Chicago Blue - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    @ MisterJayEM

    The NY governor said that employees there would not be eligible.

  18. - justaguy02 - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    “fundamental right to their bodily autonomy, and to make health decisions in accordance with their beliefs and conscience.” Except if you’re a woman; especially in Texas.

  19. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    Imagine the shock of these former employees when they come to the realization that the courts aren’t persuaded by memes and Facebook postings.

  20. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 12:58 pm:

    ==And this handful of folks is taking the risk of losing their nicely paying gigs if they lose and stand by their “principles,”==

    Plus their pensions too.

  21. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:06 pm:

    ==Plus their pensions too.==

    They won’t be losing their pensions. Getting fired doesn’t take your pension away.

  22. - OneMan - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    I can tell you Edward Hospital is requiring them for employees so they can’t get a job there.

  23. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    I’m not going to complain about how much firefighters make. But there’s so much physics involved in the job I’m surprised they don’t understand the science behind 5he vaccines.

  24. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    “Now, the governor is trying to scapegoat these heroes”

    Scapegoat: a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.

    They are choosing not to get the vaccine or submit to testing, so how are they scapegoats?

  25. - Retired SURS Employee - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==Plus their pensions too.==

    Not if they are over 50 with the requisite years of service.

  26. - Randall Dowling - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:13 pm:

    Serious question: according to the CDC first responders (firefighters) should receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated for tetanus during the past 10 years. Are these firefighters refusing to get those shots too, or are we picking and choosing what we want to be protected against?

  27. - IllinoisBoi - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:16 pm:

    The firefighters claim a “fundamental right to their bodily autonomy.” Don’t the people the unvaccinated firefighters come in contact with have the same right?

  28. - wildcat12 - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    “Plaintiffs are a group of heroes who have risked their lives time and time again from the beginning of the pandemic through today”

    This is accurate. And yet, they are now putting their communities at risk by refusing to get vaccinated. Both things can be true. Being a first responder does not exempt you from being a responsible member of society.

  29. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    == the courts aren’t persuaded by memes and Facebook postings.==

    Not yet at least. Devore is running for appellate court judge.

  30. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    Dismiss the suit… let them resign or get the shot. They can likely be replaced off a waitlist of people wanting to be a firefighter and willing to do what’s mandated as part of the job.

  31. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:58 pm:

    Those firefighters and other anti-vaxxers continue to boggle the mind.

    Do you want to believe a highly educated doctor who has dedicated 37 years of his life fighting infectious diseases (Fauci) or Tucker “The Angry Beatle” Carlson, who won’t divulge whether he’s been vaccinated or not?

  32. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    Just today I read about a study showing most of those threats to quit are bluster, and the whiners tend to cave.

    There’s a subset of firefighter that resists safety training because of Macho attitudes. They tend to skip their PPE, not wash down carcinogenic soot off their coats, and wear their work shoes in the firehouse and home, carrying all kinds of toxic goo home to the kids. But they’re taking a stand against a simple shot. Crazy.

  33. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 2:07 pm:

    =I can tell you Edward Hospital is requiring them for employees so they can’t get a job there.=

    Most employers also prefer to hire candidates that aren’t suing them. Makes things a bit awkward.

  34. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 2:10 pm:

    We did not know that firefighters had a constitutional right to infect others? Point us to the Article or Amendment?

  35. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    All this yapping about having a constitutional right to oppose covid restrictions and the jab, remind be of a Ned Beatty line from the Mark Wahlberg movie “Shooter” - “The law is whatever I say it is.”

  36. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 3:22 pm:

    Sorry, Anonymous @ 3:21 pm was me.

  37. - Grimlock - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 3:25 pm:

    That teacher in Springfield who is refusing to test is the same teacher who hosted an “unofficial” homecoming dance at her home last year that induced a local outbreak and caused Auburn to have to go full remote.

  38. - Amalia - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 3:27 pm:

    Good. Vaccinating is smart. If employees don’t want to do it, they are not smart.

  39. - Montrose - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 3:52 pm:

    “Just today I read about a study showing most of those threats to quit are bluster, and the whiners tend to cave.”

    I am beginning to think the threats to quit because of a vax requirement is the equivalent of liberals saying they are going to move to Canada every time a Republican takes office.

  40. - Bear3 - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    How about Springfield for the bears with the train mass transit and also from St Louis. Parking and tourism just maybe like Green Bay and Milwaukee did. Until some one wants to win, the ownership must change. The buy out is cheap and a new stadium in two locations would be like cannabis, habit forming, revenue gathering and make the franchise more valuable. Like Chicago Casino ideas at soldiers field. Professional soccer in Arlington Heights at the new field hits the Soccer market in North and Central IL. Go for Market and tax revenue and eliminating pension liability of the past.

  41. - Dysfunction Junction - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==How about Springfield for the bears with the train mass transit and also from St Louis.==

    Many busy executives ask me, “What about the job displacement market program in the city of the future?” Well, count on us to be there, UH CLEM and BEAR3, because if we’re lucky tomorrow we won’t have to deal with questions like this ever again.

  42. - A - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 4:47 pm:

    Not seeing the point of citing the firefighters’ salaries. Some commenters actually sound jealous. If so, go sign up. Must be a cinch

  43. - Stormsw7706 - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 4:53 pm:

    It sounds to me there may be a lot of pretty good job openings for responsible, vaccinated individuals. I know several people that are taking advantage of labor shortages to change careers and/or jobs. Their resumes include VACCINATED under the other qualifications section.

  44. - Vader - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 5:20 pm:

    Most firefighters make another 10-20% in overtime on top of their listed salary. The only ones who will quit are those who are close to retirement anyway and probably the least productive. I’d bet if you FOIA’d their personnel files you’d find these 6 are chronic thorns in the side of the dept.

  45. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 5:26 pm:

    Well, as I said before. It’s simple. Soon a vaccination for covid will be required. If you don’t want to get one, you’re free to find another job. You won’t be missed.

  46. - Kyle’s mom - Wednesday, Sep 29, 21 @ 5:31 pm:

    There’s a hearing on the Naperville lawsuit late tomorrow morning. I’d expect a quick ruling.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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