Mayor Bill de Blasio did not waste any time to mandate vaccinations for all NYC Department of Education staff following the FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“Keeping our students and staff healthy is our top priority,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “To keep our schools healthy and safe, we are now requiring all Department of Education staff to have at least one dose of the vaccine by September 27. Together, we will create a safe and welcoming school experience for our kids.”
The mandate will apply to all 148,000 Department of Education (DOE) employees, including school-based and central staff, as well as DOE contractors who work in school-based settings. Currently, about 40,000 have uploaded their proof of vaccination to the portal.
"No matter who it is in the school," said Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter, "Everyone in our buildings will have their first dose completed in September."
Officials did not say what consequences would be for those who refuse to get vaccinated.
"Now, we're going to start immediately working with labor unions," de Blasio said this morning announcing the mandate. "I spoke to the leaders of the key unions over the last few days, and we're going to start bargaining with them immediately on the impact of this decision and how to ensure we can implement it properly and fairly."
"Our first priority is keeping our kids safe and the schools open. The city’s teachers have led the way on this issue, with the great majority already vaccinated," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers in a statement issued following the announcement of the new mandate.
"While the city is asserting its legal authority to establish this mandate, there are many implementation details, including provisions for medical exceptions, that by law must be negotiated with the UFT and other unions, and if necessary, resolved by arbitration."
Why not extend the mandate to all City workers at this point?
Mayor: In terms of the rest of our employees, we're looking at that right now. We wanted to get this piece done. Knowing that our health care workers were covered by the previous State mandate, the most immediate sense of [inaudible] was to address the schools with schools coming up. And then in the days ahead, we'll be looking at the rest of the workforce.