The Santa Barbara Unified School District has clarified which set of employees is now on unpaid leave after they declined to get district-mandated COVID-19 vaccines.
“The employee vaccine mandate had a Monday, Nov. 1, deadline,” Camie Barnwell, chief of district communications, told the News-Press on Tuesday in an email.
“At this time, we do have a handful of employees who have declined to get vaccinated — and who have not submitted an exemption request. These employees will be placed on unpaid leave,” she said in her statement. “HR (human resources) will work with those who requested exemptions on their unique exemption request and any possible accommodations. These employees will continue to report to their current work assignment until a final decision is made or utilize their district-provided benefit time.
“We care about each and every employee in our district, and continue to focus on keeping our students and staff healthy and safe and IN school,” Ms. Barnwell said.
According to a report on a district website, 91.9% of the district’s staff is vaccinated. That equals 1,547 employees.
The report also said vaccinations are in progress for 2.3% or 39 employees.
The district is requiring all staff to be vaccinated unless they qualify for exemptions for medical or religious reasons. According to the website, 5.3% or 90 employees are requesting exemptions or deferrals. And the district is waiting for a response from 0.4% or seven of its employees.
The district’s vaccination numbers were described as “cumulative data of Oct. 21, 2021” and were represented in COVID-19 Report No. 30 at the Oct. 26 school board meeting.
You can find all of the district’s reports at go.boarddocs.com/ca/sbunified/board.nsf/public#. Search for “vaccinations.”