New York City’s Vaccine Mandate Crisis

Kyasia Dixon

This past week a judge panel has overruled the temporary policy put in place for New York City’s COVID 19 Vaccine mandate for public school workers. 

The panel from the second U.S circuit Court of Appeals overruled the injunction on Monday which made it easier for the city to implement the vaccine mandate.  Mayor Bill De Blasio made an announcement saying all public school staff must be vaccinated by Friday,  October 1, 2021 by 5pm or else they will be terminated effective immediately. 

During a live protest outside of the ruling, a Department of Education spokesperson went on to say that he believes the city is making the right decision.  

“Vaccinations are our strongest tool in the fight against COVID-19 – this ruling is on the right side of the law and will protect our students and staff. The mandate will go into effect on Friday end of day,  so that by Monday, October 4, 100% of educators and staff in our buildings will be vaccinated.”

The city has been battling this mandate for a few months now in court, trying to decide whether it is deemed constitutional or not. 

New York City’s United Federation of Teachers President, Michael Mulgrew, also issued a public statement concerning the situation : “The courts have cleared the way for the city to begin enforcing the city’s vaccine mandate for school employees.

 The mayor put out an  estimate  that 97% of the teachers have been vaccinated, but according to our recent survey of UFT chapter leaders, only about one-third believe that as of now their schools can open without disruption, given the potential shortage of unvaccinated personnel, including school aides and security personnel. 

The city has a lot of work before it to ensure that enough vaccinated staff will be available by the new deadline. We will be working with our members to ensure, as far as possible, that our schools can open safely as the vaccine mandate is enforced.” 

Although 87% of  the employees have at least one dose of the vaccine, there are still over 10,000 teachers that remain unvaccinated according to New York City’s board of education.

Categories: Education, Health

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