SSA: 93 percent compliance with vaccine mandate

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The SSA says that 93% of its current employees have met the vaccine mandate. -George Brennan

Updated 1/11

The Steamship Authority has made vaccination progress with 93 percent of the people on its payroll, according to SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll. As of the end of last week, 474 of 511 employees were “fully vaccinated, had at least one shot, or had submitted documentation of an upcoming vaccine appointment,” Driscoll said. 

Driscoll was unable to break down the figures further, and say how many employees had one shot and how many had submitted documentation. Driscoll also could not provide vaccination figures for the Centerplate employees, who provide contract food service aboard SSA ferries. The total number of employees cited by the SSA is less than the 700 previously reported by The Times. Driscoll said 700 or so represents the number of employees who work at the ferry line during its high-season peak, as opposed to the present winter levels.

Jan. 6 marked the deadline for a requisite vaccine dose for all SSA employees. Full vaccination must be accomplished for all employees by Feb. 16. 

Driscoll noted the SSA hasn’t had to close any facilities or cancel any trips due to staff shortages. Driscoll also said the vaccine mandate, which The Times broke the news of on Tuesday, was the result of an executive session vote by the board. The mandate comes with an incentive of $500 for every full-time employee who gets fully vaccinated. The dollar value of the incentive is less for part-time employees. The money for the incentives comes from the SSA’s general fund. Prior to the mandate, the SSA reported that about 65 percent of its employees were fully vaccinated. 

On Monday Driscoll told The Times that last week the SSA human resources department was “inundated with paperwork and questions from our staff about the vaccine policy, which went into effect Wednesday, and their work was further slowed by Friday’s weather.”

These factors delayed access to the requested figures, he noted.

Driscoll told The Times that no employees were terminated, and none resigned because of the vaccine mandate. So what about the other 7 percent? “That would include those who have submitted requests for exemptions and those who have not turned in any documentation yet (so they may be on vacation, for example, or have worked at the beginning of the week but not at the end of the week, after the policy went into effect Wednesday),” Driscoll wrote.

Updated to include information on employees who have not complied with the mandate.

27 COMMENTS

    • I am assuming that you will have no problem with that, as you have been so outspoken about the importance of vaccination and something as trifling as $500 weighed against the greater good should be beneath mention.

      • Wrong again Alex… But certainly don’t hire anyone not vaxxed. The reward there is a cushy job with good benefits. But, I would like it if they had some ferries that were fully vaxxed only. Like they do at the film center. Unvaxxed could take the 6 0r 7 am only.
        I also have no problem with requiring unvaxxed people to have a scarlet “C” sewn into their clothing. If idiots are going to compare vaccination mandates to the holocaust, I say lets step it up a bit so they have something real to complain about.
        Also , I rent a room in my house– first thing I ask is if they are vaccinated. Does that offend you ?

        • Let me see if I grasp your reasoning. You are in favor of as many people getting vaccinated as possible(so am I). You aren’t in favor of strategies that increase the number of people who get vaccinated that involve incentives. And you’re talking about passengers requiring vaccine proof to ride the ferry? This article and my comment is in regard to employees. I think 95% of vaccine hesitancy is due to ignorance and idiocy and have no allegiance to the foolishly unvaccinated . I do think that condemning them will only harden their obstinacy and incentives are fine if they achieve the end result of increasing vaccinations. And- why would I care what you do
          in your own home? I believe in private property and freedom. You can ask whatever you want of a prospective tenant. It doesn’t ruffle a pin feather for me.

        • 6 or 7 am only? So anyone who commutes to the island for work would have to take the 6 or 7 am to get to the island. They then would have to stay the week here and leave on the 6 or 7 am on their day off? What has happened to clear and logical thinking?

          • Mike — You are correct only 6 or 7 am doesn’t work well . They should run a special freight boat for them after hours. If they don’t like it, they can work on the mainland.
            Clear logical thinking went out the door on July 19 th 2016.
            Why should we hold the liberals to a standard of clear and logical thinking while we have total nut cases on the other side thinking the vaccine has computer chips, lasers from space are causing forest fires, etc. etc…. ?
            Convince the conservatives to think clearly or logically on even one social issue, and I will think it’s worth it to suppress the way I really feel.
            Quite frankly. I have been presenting facts. logic and clear thinking for years.
            Time to try something different.

    • Don’t care, just want people to get vaxed. If they only get the vax because they want to keep their job that’s just fine with me. They are not being forced, SSA employees are free to choose to get vaxed and keep their jobs or not get vaxed and go find another one. THAT’S A CLEAR CHOICE!

        • Mike– I would think that the ferry crews, or at least the captains have an ultimatum to submit to drug testing. Train conductors, bus drivers airline pilots etc. all have to submit– If not, well, get a different job. Do you think that is ridiculous also ?

          • They are required to follow fed regs which includes MANDATORY drug testing! This means they are tested BEFORE they are hired and subject to random test as well. Any SSA employee whining about MANDATES never should have applied for the job in the first place. Mike’s argument has zero merit.

  1. Isnt it time that some of you admitted that the virus is not a respecter of the vaccinated or the unvaccinated. It hits lots of people and doesnt discriminate. It is here to stay and most of us can live with it and not be fearful.

    • Andy Covid certainly does discriminate. You have repeatedly claimed that cases don’t matter.
      What matters , you have repeatedly said is the death rate. A report released yesterday by the state of Washington, states that you are 11 times more likely to die from covid ( across the age group 12 and up ) if you’re unvaccinated than not . While completely unvaccinated people make up less than 33 % of the population, they are accounting for 93 % of hospitalizations and 95 % of deaths.
      Since Dec 28, the U.S has recorded over 2,000 deaths a day every day but 2.
      It doesn’t take much brainpower to see that the pandemic is not over, and that it does in fact discriminate between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.. Unless of course you are flip flopping and now you think that the number of cases is the only thing that matters.
      One thing you have correct, though, is that it will be with us for a while.

      • Keller, in the beginning you told us repeatedly that anyone can get Covid and it does not discriminate. I said that Covid attacks the most vulnerable as to deaths. Now you tell us that it does discriminate and you offer up statistics which ostensibly prove that. However you conveniently ignore the fact that both vaccinated and unvaccinated get Covid. Yes more for the unvaccinated but still plenty for the vaccinated. It would be better if you gave us statistics as to who exactly are dying–the demographic. It is still mostly elderly and comorbid. Wallensky just told us that 75 percent of covid deaths are people with at least four comorbidities.

        • This link is from November 2021. I’ll quote to save the impatient reading time: “Unvaccinated people are about six times more likely to test positive than vaccinated people, nine times more likely to be hospitalized, and 14 times more likely to die from COVID-related complications.”

          Is it time yet to follow truth and facts than question it?

          https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211124/unvaccinated-14-times-more-likely-to-die-from-covid

        • Everything you claim here is WRONG! You have no idea what you’re talking about, NONE! All you do is vomit up disinformation you heard from your right wing media. It’s all wrong and you are willfully ignorant. You have blood on your hands and the MV Times needs to stop printing your lies.

          • Mr Patterson all you do is attack and say ”wrong” but you never give us a cogent rebuttal with you researched facts. Are you speculating based upon your ”feelings”

        • Andrew, Rochelle Walensky said that 75% of deaths among vaccinated people within a specific study had at least four comorbidities. She didn’t mean that 75% of all COVID deaths fall into that category. Enormous difference. This article clarifies:

          https://reuters.com/article/amp/idUSL1N2TS0S2

          What happened to “ALL lives matter”? Across the U.S., the same people who absolutely insisted on this mantra as the only acceptable ethos have been dismissing whole sections of society where COVID is concerned.

          We also had the “blue lives matter” phase. I just read something this morning about police officers dying from COVID. Their exposure is high, given that they have to interact closely with the public. Where is that concern now? Both beliefs disappeared as soon as they were inconvenient.

          I am tired of reading that, whether explicitly or by implication, being older or having a pre-existing condition justifies the do-nothing approach from others. Tons of Americans fall into these categories. Everyone deserves a chance to make it through this pandemic. A small amount of effort would go such a long way towards helping and yet it’s still too much to ask.

    • One of the biggest problems is how different people define the concept of living with it. To me, that’s exactly what taking precautions means. Something that is not fully within our control has happened on a global level. We have no choice but to endure the issues that we cannot currently change. We should also see no option but to take responsibility for those we can help with. That’s real adaptation. The idea that we can just “move on” because some are tired or apathetic will continue to have devastating consequences.

      When the nation’s hospitals are understaffed and overwhelmed, health care starts to crumble. It’s not just COVID patients at risk. Others are losing out, too. Living with it should include making good use of the tools and info we are lucky to have and preserving our resources, not sticking our heads in the sand and pretending it’s over because that’s preferable.

      This is not fear-based. Although I would never fault anyone for being nervous during a pandemic, it’s inaccurate (at best) to say that taking a common sense approach to disease (meaning we aim for prevention when possible) is always chalked up to fear. It’s more about looking at what’s already been lost and what’s not working and trying to balance it out, like we should do with any widespread problem.

      It also never fails that people who acknowledge the deaths of millions are called needlessly fearful. Meanwhile, those who shun a vaccine that hasn’t done even a tiny fraction of the same damage are perfectly reasonable and within their rights to be terrified. How does that make sense? It’s almost like fearing the vaccine is now a point of pride or considered noble. The numbers say the complete opposite.

  2. Katie –We have classic “double speak” in this “debate”. Those who ridicule those who are vaccinated and take precautions and claim they are living in fear, are the same ones who are fearful to get the vaccine.
    A rational person should take precautions and fear a disease that will kill more than a million Americans.
    An irrational person fears a vaccine that has been administered to nearly 5 billion people because it is “untested”, may have a microchip in it, and 7 people out of the 5 billion died shortly after receiving it from blood clots that MAY have been related to the shot

    I don’t think it’s a point of pride to fear just the vaccine. It is a deeply rooted cognitive dissonance that does not allow the afflicted to ever acknowledge that anything they believe is wrong. They have been lied to about nearly everything , and believed those lies for so long, that any crack in the façade of “alternative facts” would force them to face up to the reality that they have been complete fools who have been duped by a con man and his propaganda apparatus. That’s not easy to accept.

    It’s frustrating for people who accept reality.

    I guess we can turn to the bible for wisdom:
    1 Corinthians 14:38 “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”

  3. Keller, some people dont see Covid as a threat to them. Some people dont like side effects or long term problems with the so called vaccine. Some people dont like institutions or dont trust government. Some people have lack of access to the vaccine. (after all some of you cite lack of access to voting) Some people want to get rid of fluoride–remember? Some people are fearful of PFAS which are ubiquitous and have been around for 50 years. We also have the high school turf wars. In a society of 330 million it is not unusual to have varying opinions without labelling it ”cognitive dissonance”. After all Keller I think dissonance exists in Democrats.

    • Andy– Difference of opinion is one thing. I respect that. Dissonance is something entirely different. It is a denial of reality that comes from having an opinion that is demonstrably not factual.
      Imagine if you will, at the beginning of the pandemic someone stating emphatically that covid deaths will not even get close to one thousand in the U.S. Even betting money on it. That is an opinion.
      But when proven wrong, that person had 2 choices. Admit it and move on , or start making things up or looking for slivers of “truth ” to convince themselves that they were in fact correct. A few good examples would be to claim that only old people who were on death’s door were dying from it, the numbers are not accurate, etc. Then one could make up some flat out lies, like “the hospitals are forging the death certificates” because they get more money if someone dies from covid rather than a heart attack.
      See how it happens ? Such a person is now pretty far down the rabbit hole…
      But it continues— Once a person fully embraces those deceptions, they are free to then blame others. Like immigrants, and of course the “liberals” who are allowing for open borders thus allowing infected aliens to freely spread it while we suffer. Throw in a few selected adjectives like “dirty” or “evil” and it’s all justified. It gets deeper when they start blaming individuals. “Fauci financed it” for example And it’s pretty easy to point out hypocrisy– Pelosi got a haircut, Newsome went out to dinner, AOC was at a bar in Florida.. etc.etc.etc. At this point we have a full blown clinical case of psychotic dissonance. It could be so bad that the afflicted individual might even claim that the pandemic is actually over or it doesn’t matter if there are a million new cases a day and that over 2,000 Americans of all ages and walks of life are dying from a preventable disease every day. And just for good measure they might accurately claim that “a lot of people” have this same psychotic affliction.
      Unfortunately the scenario I have laid out here is all too common.
      But regardless, there is a point where opinion falls off the rails, and deeply ingrained psychological defense mechanisms take over.
      Here’s a little light reading to help you understand it.
      https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-dissonance-2795012

  4. It seems like just a few years ago that the island was a haven for the unvaccinated. People hated government overreach. They were in fear that their children would at a minimum become autistic.
    I recall quite a lot of people agreed with their right not to have their children vaccinated.

    A few years later an acquaintance tells me he has constant blood clots and surgeries to correct them.
    I sympathize with his fear of a shot which is known to cause blood clots.
    And, he will be forced to roll the dice with this shot or lose his job.

    On a side note, no one should be allowed on the ferry without a shot.
    Mandate an island wide passport

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