GRU staffing impacted by city vaccine mandate

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:02 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - TV 20 obtained an email GRU’s General Manager Ed Bielarski sent to Gainesville City Commissioners about the vaccine mandate for city workers.

According to a spokesperson for GRU, nine employees changed their retirement dates or turned in letters of resignation since commissioners voted to mandate the vaccine on August 5th.

Bielarski confirmed in an email on August 21st that numerous employees might choose to quit rather than get the vaccine.

He said while he felt responsible for notifying the city about this, it does not reflect his views on the vaccine in any way.

As of July 31st, GRU had 87 open positions. In total the company has about 850 employees.

Bielarski added that the company is putting together mitigation plans in case a large number of employees chose to quit.

In the email, he said this could affect whether GRU sends out crews to participate in mutual aid emergencies.

This comes as TV 20 confirms GRU did not send any employees to Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. Officials said they just didn’t have the resources.

Bielarski said the biggest unknown right now is how many of GRU’s contractors would stop doing business with them because of the mandate.

This could include people who supply meter readers or electrical service professionals.

GRU officials said they are encouraging employees to get the shot.

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