* Get your shots people…
Chicago city employees who fail to report their vaccination status by Oct. 15 will be placed in a “non-disciplinary, no-pay status,” but there will be a testing option for those who haven’t gotten the coronavirus vaccine.
After weeks of confusion and united opposition from police unions, Mayor Lori Lightfoot finally announced the testing option that Fraternal Order Police President John Catanzara told his members about one week ago.
“Employees who are not fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, including employees who have received an approved medical or religious exemption, must undergo COVID-19 testing on a twice weekly basis with tests separated by 3-4 days,” the policy states.
“Employees are responsible for obtaining those tests on their own time and at their own expense, if any, and for reporting those results to the city,” it says. “The testing option will only be available through December 31, 2021. Thereafter, employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless they have received an approved medical or religious exemption.” […]
“Employees who fail to report their vaccination status by October 15, 2021 will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no-pay status. Disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who fail to report their status as required by the policy” on the city’s vaccine portal, the policy states.
[River Trails School District 26, Superintendent Nancy Wagner], said she remains optimistic that potential employees will be attracted to the district’s benefits package and friendly, neighborhood work environment.
“We’re advertising, and doing everything we can, but part of the problem is some of these jobs don’t pay as well as what some local restaurants are offering,” said Wagner, who recalled seeing a sign posted in front of a nearby restaurant, promising wages of $17 an hour.
“All of our full-time employees get health insurance, so we’re hoping that might be enough of an impetus to apply,” Wagner said, adding: “But some applicants have said they’d need their whole paycheck just to pay for day care. It looks like it’s going to be a really tough year.”
* National context…
One reason America’s employers are having trouble filling jobs was starkly illustrated in a report Tuesday: Americans are quitting in droves.
The Labor Department said that quits jumped to 4.3 million in August, the highest on records dating back to December 2000, and up from 4 million in July. That’s equivalent to nearly 3% of the workforce. Hiring also slowed in August, the report showed, and the number of jobs available fell to 10.4 million, from a record high of 11.1 million the previous month.
The jump in quits strongly suggests that fear of the delta variant is partly responsible for the shortfall in workers. In addition to driving quits, fear of the disease probably caused plenty of those out of work to not look for, or take, jobs.
As COVID-19 cases surged in August, quits soared in restaurants and hotels from the previous month and rose in other public-facing jobs, such as retail and education. Nearly 900,000 people left jobs at restaurants, bars, and hotels in August, up 21% from July. Quits by retail workers rose 6%.
* And, finally, is there something that Dr. Ezike can’t do?…
Heyworth schools are taking an “adaptive pause” and returning to remote learning this week amid rising COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages.
“Staffing and substitute shortages have been a challenge all school year, and the issue is heightened when we have multiple staff missing for extended periods of time,” Superintendent Lisa Taylor told The Pantagraph on Tuesday.
In a social media post Monday after students were off for the Columbus Day holiday, Taylor said students would not have homework Tuesday and would begin working in the remote learning schedule Wednesday.