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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds a news conference Thursday at the Capitol to announce her picks to lead the Public Education Department and Department of Public Safety.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that she would require state employees to be vaccinated or tested for the coronavirus.

Lujan Grisham’s executive order will go into effect Monday. “Right now, it’s very simple: Get a vaccine, or else you will be tested,” Lujan Grisham said in a news release. “I will not tolerate any unnecessary risk within the workforce under my authority.”

The surge of the coronavirus coupled with vaccination hesitancy and resistance contributed to the decision, the news release said. State workers who aren’t vaccinated will have to show they have tested negative for the disease once every two weeks.

A union leader in New Mexico said his organization encourages people to get vaccinated but doesn’t support mandates as a requirement of employment. Dan Secrist, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 7076, said the governor’s order takes precedent over collective bargaining agreements.

Secrist, whose union represents close to 3,000 state workers in New Mexico, said logistics related to the order, such as discipline and how the tests are administered, are within the scope of collective bargaining, and he hopes to reopen talks on such matters.

The Governor’s Office said the policy will apply to about 17,000 state workers. The order says those who aren’t fully vaccinated will have to wear a mask indoors while at work except when eating and drinking.

Employees who do not comply may face discipline, including firing, the statement said. Lujan Grisham’s order followed a similar demand by the state of California.

Lujan Grisham also will consider mandating vaccinations in high-risk settings under her authority, the order said. She encouraged other government entities and private employers to implement policies similar to hers.

State worker Joe Garrett of Tucumcari said he got vaccinated but did so by choice. “I firmly disagree with being forced,” said Garrett, whose office sees that road projects follow plans and specifications. “I think it should be of free will, whether you’re a private individual or state employee.”

Steve Pearce, chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, criticized the governor’s executive order.

“This is the latest example of Gov. Lujan Grisham overstepping her authority and having government make personal choices for its citizens,” Pearce said in a statement. “Now she is threatening to fire any state employee if they don’t comply with her executive order.”

Secrist, the Local 7076 president, said his union wouldn’t tolerate attempts “to weaponize the policy.” Secrist’s organization represents state employees in health, treasury, cultural affairs and other state departments and agencies.

Lujan Grisham said she had “absolutely zero appetite” for another surge in infections. “Please do not jeopardize anyone’s life, anyone’s livelihood or our state’s economic recovery,” she said. “Get vaccinated.”

(24) comments

Ryan Jorgenson

I believe employers may want to change direction quickly, the mandate to enforce masks or show card will be detrimental to the state or any other. This will force discrimination, decisiveness as well as Hippa violation in regards to confedentiality, this will bring thousands of lawsuits for these violations as well as hostile work environment and forms of promotion type lawsuits, it’s not going to work out well.

Lastly, look at this just for giggles:

https://youtu.be/-dAjCeMuXR0

Richard Reinders

[thumbup]

Anita McGinnis

Why is the crisis at the southern border being ignored by the media? The border patrol are overwhelmed by the massive number of people entering the USA without any political concern or control that the migrants, many with Covid, have no requirement for masks or shots.

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Lupe Molina

Your comment is idiotic, based in 0 facts, and should be removed.

Carolyn DM

And it's way past time for state workers to be back in the office and under supervision. I've been trying to get ahold of the IT department at DWFS for months to file a quarterly payroll report and the most common message is, "there's no one available to take your call right now, please call back later", CLICK!!

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Carolyn DM

Are you really not capable of doing your own research, on reputable sites instead of getting your, "facts", from FOX ENTERTAINMENT and NEWSMAX?

ba hop

anyone remember being worried about getting polio? small pox??

NO-- because people RAN to get vaccinated & wiped out those diseases from ever becoming full blown world wide pandemics...

the #ConservativeConspiracyCultists of UN-Vvaccinated ARE keeping this Virus alive-- & whether you know anyone dying because of it or not?? SOMEONE is dying because of it & that's on you... own your actions/decisions

act like children -- you wear a mask-- stop blaming the Govt/others for trying to keep you alive...

David Ford

Child: Mom what is that scratch on your arm?

Mom: It's my smallpox vaccination.

Child: How come I don't have one?

Mom: Because it worked.....

Chris Mechels

Perhaps the Governor should mandate "real" masks; like N95 or HN95. She has us using "face coverings", which can be useless. Get serious Michelle...

Richard Reinders

Those were fully approved vaccines once FDA fully approves the Corvid Vax more people will line up. I am pro Vax so don't come after me with the vial attacks.

Russell Scanlon

The real issue is why vaccinations must be mandated to the willfully ignorant or the MAGA crowd who are putting everyone’s health at risk so that they can “own the libs”.

Carolyn DM

Exactly!! It's the ignorant, brainwashed Trumpf cultists who will not get vaccinated that scream the loudest about these mandates while they're the very ones who are causing this surge. They'll die for Mr. Trumpf, even though the goon has gotten vaccinated!!

Nancy Lockland

Stop assuming that everyone who doesn't get vaccinated is a Trump supporter. I'm a Democrat and unvaccinated.

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Richard Reinders

[thumbup]

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David Ford

Here's why...

https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/scicheck-viral-posts-misrepresent-cdc-announcement-on-covid-19-pcr-test/

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