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a

Legal cost of Hamilton’s employee vaccination policy estimated at up to $7.4 million

Up to 264 city employees are facing termination or indefinite unpaid leave on Oct. 1, as a result of their vaccination status.

The public gallery was cleared of spectators during the latest general issues committee meeting at Hamilton City Hall.The action was taken following a series of outbursts on Thursday, as councillors were receiving an update on potential legal costs associated with Hamilton’s COVID-19 vaccination policy for municipal employees.Up to 264 city employees are facing termination or indefinite unpaid leave on Oct. 1, as a result of their vaccination status.The cost to the city of proceeding with the mandatory vaccination policy is estimated at between $2.8 million and $7.4 million, based on a preliminary arbitration award involving Hamilton’s largest employees’ union.Read more: Hamilton’s employee vaccination policy stays in place following tie vote (April 27, 2022)Meeting chair Brad Clark cleared the gallery and called a recess, following a series of interruptions.Trending StoriesThe dark side of winning the lottery: lucky ticket can cause new troubles, past winners sayVideo: B.C. hockey fight, with apparent kick to the face, under investigationStory continues below advertisement“Madam clerk, please indicate that we’re having a recess now. Have security clear the chambers,” Clark said.He took the step after members of the public erupted in anger, following a speech by Ward 8 Coun. John Paul Danko, during which he called them “anti-vaxxers.”“I will not be coerced!” one man hollered from the gallery, while another described himself as “vaccine-hesitant.”Read more: 440 city of Hamilton employees still not in compliance with vaccination policy (May 20, 2022)Unvaccinated municipal employees continue to have the vocal support of Ward 7 Coun. Esther Pauls.“Who am I as a city councillor,” said Pauls, “to say take this medicine, because if you don’t you will not eat, you will not be able to afford a house, you will be out in the street?” © 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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