Nearly 90 SF Muni operators could lose their jobs this week over vaccine mandate deadline

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- We have now reached a COVID-19 vaccination mandate deadline in San Francisco.

That means many San Francisco city and county workers who haven't gotten vaccinated yet, as of November 1, could lose their job. The message from City Hall: Get vaccinated or find work elsewhere.

RELATED: Here's a breakdown of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for city employees in SF, Oakland and SJ

"Kind of a scary story to tell on Halloween because none of our operators want to get fired," says Roger Marenco who is president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A.

But it's possible those workers could lose their job. Marenco says in recent weeks the number of unvaccinated bus drivers has dropped dramatically. Currently there are less than 90 unvaccinated operators as many gave in and got the shots, due to fears of losing their job.

As of last Friday, 60 police officers were still not vaccinated, but officers have until November 12 to be fully vaccinated, unlike Muni operators. Marenco says, the possible firings won't happen overnight and some operators could be granted exemptions.

"It's not going to be okay, today's November 1 you don't have the vaccine you're fired immediately, it doesn't work like that they're going to go through the process," says Marenco.

RELATED: SF recommends suspension without pay for first responders who don't report vaccine status

San Francisco Mayor London Breed says nearly 98% of city and county workers are vaccinated. George Bandorf is part of that 98%. He's a nurse with San Francisco Department of Public Health and Sutter. We told him about four Muni routes that will be suspended or partially suspended come Monday due to a loss of drivers, Bandorf though supports vaccine mandates and is okay with that.

"I'd be disappointed but I'd have to muddle through it," says Bandorf.

"I use to be a nurse so my thought is that public health takes a priority, so if these people are thinking, 'it's my right not to be vaccinated', then I think we need to do what's right for the general public," said another rider.

We did talk with two Muni operators. One told us got the vaccine and supports others doing the same. The other was very mad, saying he doesn't agree with being forced to put something into his body, but he makes $40 an hour, he's not giving that up, so he got the shot.

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