How hundreds of cops will risk being sacked or slapped with $20,000 fines in a WEEK if they don’t get vaccinated – with unions accusing Mark McGowan of ‘starving officers into compliance’
- Police staff required to be vaccinated for Covid by December 1 under WA rules
- There are more than 350 employees who are yet to confirm they are vaccinated
- WA’s Police Commissioner said officer could be sacked or hit with huge fines
- Under WA jab mandates about 1.1million are required to get a Covid vaccine
Hundreds of unvaccinated police officers and support staff could be sacked, have their pay stopped or cop a huge $20,000 fine if they don’t get a Covid jab by December 1.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has introduced widespread Covid vaccine mandates that cover about 75 per cent of the state’s workforce – about 1.1milllion workers – including police officers.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson warned on Monday that officers won’t be cut any slack on the rules, prompting the police union to fire back claiming the move was aimed to ‘starve our officers into compliance’.
It is thought around 360 police staffers are still unvaccinated in the state.
WA Police staff will need to get one dose of a Covid vaccine by December 1 and be fully-jabbed by January 1 under vaccine mandates (pictured, a WA border checkpoint in 2021)
‘Vaccination is a personal choice,’ WA Police Union acting president Mick Kelly said.
He added the union views consenting to a vaccine as a basic human right and ‘we don’t accept the WA Police Force’s heavy-handed treatment of our members based purely on their vaccination status’.
‘We’ve been advocating that our members don’t have their pay cut … and maybe find alternative work locations.’ he told 6PR radio.
‘It’s tight out there as it is. We need to retain as many officers as we can.’
Under the vaccine rules, police staff will need at least one dose of a Covid vaccine to set foot in a police workplace from December 1 – including stations and patrol cars.
They will also need to get their second dose by the end of that month.
Those who are found in breach of the public health direction issued by the state’s chief health officer will be slapped with an on-the-spot fine up to $20,000.
Police who refuse to get a Covid jab could be hit with $20,000 fines or risk losing their job (pictured, a Perth Covid testing clinic in 2021)
Last week Mr Dawson said officers who don’t get the jab would be putting their salary and their jobs at risk.
Those who cannot enter their workplace would be considered unable to do their job and their pay would be suspended unless leave is approved.
‘I may elect to address this as a disciplinary matter, which if proven, may include consideration of outcomes likely to range from reprimand to dismissal,’ he said in a memo seen by The West Australian.
Police are listed as part of the Group 1 of workers in WA considered as critical to community safety or who have high risk of transmitting the virus.
Other industries in this group also required to be double jabbed by January 1 include hospital staff, airline workers, on-site mining staff, those working with Aboriginal communities, and firefighters and paramedics.
WA Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) has introduced widespread vaccine mandates in his states which cover about 75 per cent of the workforce
WA Police on Thursday said despite 95 per cent of employees being vaccinated, there were still 236 officers and 130 support staff who were yet to confirm they have been immunised.
The state is expected to reopen domestic borders in early February – with the vaccine mandates designed to prevent a surge in Covid cases.
After announcing the compulsory vaccine, Mr McGowan received a number of threats to his safety – including a reported ‘security breach’ at his home.
On Sunday had to hold back a crowd of protesters who swarmed the premier’s car as he attempted to leave a town hall event in the southwest town of Bunbury.
Mr McGowan has insisted he won’t be deterred from getting as many people vaccinated as possible.