PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some local first responders will now have more time to become vaccinated against COVID-19.
The City of Pittsburgh’s mandate for police officers and firefighters to be vaccinated was set to go into effect on Wednesday, but it has now been delayed.
This comes after the unions for the two groups filed a grievance that has not been settled.
An arbitrator ruled with the firefighters’ union earlier this month, meaning negotiations will have to take place to decide if there will be a mandate.
The Mayor’s Office says it will not take any disciplinary action while the grievance is active.
The firefighters’ union president says they will meet with city officials today.
Some of the discussions on the table will include a vaccination deadline as well as possible exemptions.
Right now, around 80-85% of the city’s 700 firefighters are vaccinated.
“They are progressing very well. That’s as far as I would want to go. I don’t want to negotiate in the media. The city has come to the table with the willingness to negotiate,” said Ralph Sicuro, President of Pittsburgh Firefighters Local No. 1.
“We still need at least over 100 firefighters who need to get vaccinated,” Sicuro went on to say.
In a statement, Mayor Peduto’s office says it is working cooperatively with the unions.
The police union has not responded to requests for comment.
Stay with KDKA for the latest developments in this ongoing story.