More than 800 BART employees remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, but they have until December under to change that under the agency’s new mandate.
The BART Board of Directors voted 8-1 on Thursday to implement a Dec. 13 deadline for 4,000 agency employees to get fully vaccinated. From station agents to BART police, all employees would need to be two weeks removed from their Johnson & Johnson dose or their second Moderna or Pfizer shot.
Otherwise, they would need to be approved for a medical or religious exemption.
"At this point, we feel it is really a necessity for the ability for BART to provide reliable service, that we need to ensure our folks are, in fact, vaccinated," BART Board of Directors President Mark Foley told KCBS Radio.
Board Vice President Rebecca Saltzman said she expects workers to fully comply with the policy, but added there has been some push back from employees on both sides.
"It calls on our general manager and the management team to negotiate with the labor unions around the impact and how to implement this," she said.
Unions and management will discuss next week what happens to employees who aren’t fully vaccinated on Dec. 13 and don’t otherwise have an exemption. Foley added he hopes workers will comply with the vaccine mandate and stay with BART past that date.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will require workers to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1, while AC Transit in the East Bay and the VTA in Silicon Valley do not have vaccine mandates at this time.