GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University is telling some of their employees that they must get the COIVD-19 vaccine by December 8th.
This mandate is in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order that requires vaccinations for employees of federal contractors.
In the memo released early Monday morning, Chancellor Philip Rogers said, “the federal vaccine mandate applies to all employees who are working on or in connection with a federal contract or who work in the same location as employees working on a federal contract.”
“It’s a pretty big administrative burden that we’re going to deal with,” said Michael Van Scott, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, Economic Dev. & Engagement at ECU.
But what is going to happen to those who don’t cooperate with the mandates being put in place? Van Scott says he is not sure the exact outcome right now as it is a sensitive topic, but that like anything else, there are expectations.
“From the ECU side, it’s like any other mandate that we’ve had around COVID. There are disciplinary actions that are put in place. If someone does not comply with university policy,” said Van Scott.
Saying they are working on a system to decipher which federally funded employees this applies to.
“The approach that we took was, you know, when grants come to us, when grants or contracts come to us, they’re classified as being a grant mechanism or contract mechanism or cooperative agreement. So from that standpoint, it’s easy to figure out which contracts fall under this mandate, right?” said Van Scott.
Noting that they just want to keep one thing in mind through the entire process: respect.
“You know we’re trying to find a way to do this that respects people’s different opinions on the vaccine, but at the same time to be able to show that we are making a real effort to comply with this mandate,” said Van Scott.
Rogers also says that the mandate applies to full-time and part-time employees as well as those working under flexible work arrangements.
The order only applies to federal contracts, not grants. ECU has nearly $120,000,000 of federal funding but most of that comes from grants, which the vaccine mandate does not apply to.
ECU says it will notify the employees on October 26th, and exemptions will be allowed for the mandate for those with “a medical disability or having a sincerely held religious belief.”