New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced today that all city municipal employees will soon be forced to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The New York Post reported that the mandate will force all city workers, including police and firefighters, to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 5 pm on October 29. de Blasio said that city employees who have not gotten the shot by November 1 will be placed on unpaid leave until they provide proof of vaccination.
“It’s a mandate now for all city agencies, all city workers. It’s time for everyone to get vaccinated,” he said Wednesday morning during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“We need to reassure all New Yorkers that, if you’re working with a public employee, they’re vaccinated, everyone is going to be safe,” de Blasio added.
City employees who get their first vaccine shot next week will be given a $500 paycheck bump as an incentive. However, the mandate states that due to the current staff shortage on Riker’s Island, uniformed correction officers have until December 1 to receive their first jab.
“We need people to come back, and we need to address real situations there, so we’ve added a month for that small group only,” de Blasio explained. “But it’s still a mandate.”
At the time of this writing, around 83% of New York City employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Just 69% of the New York Police Department is vaccinated, however, as the NYPD struggled for months to get even half of their workforce vaccinated. Meanwhile, the FDNY has only a 59% vaccination rate.
Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, has fired back at the mandate by pledging to sue the city over it.
“From the beginning of the de Blasio administration‘s haphazard vaccine rollout, we have fought to make the vaccine available to every member who chooses it, while also protecting their right to make that personal medical decision in consultation with their own doctor,” he said. “Now that the city has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we will proceed with legal action to protect our members’ rights.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has said that he supports a vaccine mandate for police officers, citing the virus’ recent toll on cops.
“We lost three members last week, two of them to COVID, and I think it’s all unnecessary, to some degree. And I just, everyone I think, all across this country, really, should be embracing these vaccines,” Shea said yesterday.
One Brooklyn elected official slammed de Blasio over the mandate, saying, “The mayor has no idea what he’s doing. We’re going to lose half of our cops and half of our fire department if this goes through, and then what?”
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Author: James Samson
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