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Philadelphia Mayor, Health Commissioner To Address Vaccination Requirements For Municipal Employees Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- CBS3 has learned that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the health commissioner will address vaccination requirements as it pertains to municipal employees on Wednesday. It will be addressed during a press briefing.

Additionally, CBS3 has confirmed that discussions regarding a possible city employee vaccine policy have been going on with "stakeholders" this week. The incoming decision has labor unions split.

Of the four city unions -- District Council 33, 47, police and fire -- District Council 33's president is on record with CBS3 saying he would support a vaccine mandate as long as there were protections for religious and other exemptions.

The district's president, Ernest Garrett, is recovering from a COVID battle of his own.

"When you are in that room, you are alone. Even the strongest of men cry when you don't know whether or not if you are going home," Garrett tells CBS3.

The Philadelphia Fire Fighters and Paramedics Union will not comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. President Michael Bresnan says the union expects the City of Philadelphia to bargain about any mandates "now and in the future."

"We will not tolerate any of our members being disciplined in any manner for not being vaccinated," Bresnan wrote on the union's Facebook page.

Local 22, IAFF is not agreeing to a Covid-19 Vaccination Mandate by the City and we expect the City to bargain with us...

Posted by Philadelphia Fire Fighters and Paramedics Union on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

"We are not going to sit there and tolerate anyone jamming anything down our throats," he tells Eyewitness News, adding, "There's medical concerns, there's religion concerns, we haven't vetted that yet. So, at the minimum, we want to sit down with the city see what they have to offer. "

A spokesperson for the police union declined to comment at this time.

City Council members are required to be vaccinated before fall legislative session begins in mid-September.

CBS3's Wakisha Bailey contributed to this report.

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