A ‘friendly reminder’ — get a COVID test or lose your job

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — The Evers administration is sending out a “friendly reminder” to state workers that they better play ball on COVID-19 testing or face the consequences.

Meanwhile, as Monday’s start of mandatory testing looms, the administration is grabbing up taxpayer-funded testing kits to make sure employees comply, even as the at-home tests have been harder for the average person to find.

Beginning Monday, executive branch employees and contractors who are not vaccinated or who have not reported their vaccination status “must submit to” testing every 7 days. Those who fail to comply will be disciplined, up to losing their jobs.

The new guidance, obtained by Empower Wisconsin, notes that employees will receive testing kits from the state. It includes a link to a testing instruction page, as well as an instructional video.

“Employees are encouraged to use the state-provided testing kit. However, a non-state sponsored PCR test result may also be used to satisfy the weekly testing requirement for employees who have not provided proof of vaccination,” the guidance states.

“Employees will not be given time in paid status to conduct non-state sponsored tests and will be responsible for any payment associated with a non-state sponsored test.”

Wisconsin state employees have told Empower Wisconsin they’ve had difficulty scheduling tests with health care providers and finding tests in drug stores around Madison. Could that have something to do with the state purchasing test kids for thousands of state employees who are being forced to either get the shot or routinely jab a swab up their noses?

Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan sent out an email on Wednesday to employees, a “friendly reminder” that those who resist getting the COVID vaccine will pay the price.

“As we draw closer to the 18th, I wanted to send a friendly reminder that state employees who have not self-reported their vaccine status or have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will be required to take a COVID-19 test on a weekly basis per our latest workplace guidance,” Brennan said in the email.

He notes the free vaccination sites, the $100 gift card for employees who get their shots. But for all of the incentives, “over” 70 percent of state employees have been vaccinated. That number hasn’t changed much over the past month, so Team Evers is turning the screws.

And this from the public union-backed governor who was going to treat the state’s 30,000-plus executive branch employees with the respect they deserve

“He’s like the guy who goes home and kicks his dog because he had a hard day at work,” a state employee told Empower Wisconsin. “He is angry that he can’t control every citizen of Wisconsin so he’s taking it out on the citizens he can control, treating public employees like the dog that gets kicked at home.”

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