Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig.
A vaccine mandate expected to go into effect on Monday has been temporarily halted thanks to a Friday night reprieve by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Melissa Klein reported for The New York Post that the court granted a temporary injunction against the vaccine mandate and sent it to a three-judge panel for “expedited review.” The hearing will take place on Wednesday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio in August announced a mandate that NYC school teachers and school staff members must have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or else they would lose their job. It’s the largest school system in the country.
“It’s the first no-test-option vaccination mandate for a broad group of city workers in the nation’s most populous city. And it mirrors a similar statewide mandate for hospital and nursing home workers set to go into effect Monday,” Michael Hill reported for the Associated Press.
While there is no such option, unvaccinated teachers and staff members must meanwhile still continue to submit their negative test results.
Klein pointed out that among those subject to the mandate include safety officers, which leads to other concerns over security and working longer hours to make up for staffing issues:
In addition, nearly 1,500 unvaccinated school safety agents — of 4,300 under NYPD supervision — could also be barred from working, creating a potential security crisis at schools.
The Teamsters union representing the agents, Local 237, is expected to file a labor complaint Monday because those on duty next week will be forced to work 12-hour shifts — 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday — to make up for the gaps in staffing.
“Rather than negotiating with Local 237 prior to announcing and implementing the vaccine mandate to avoid this very problem, the City and NYPD now place the burden of their ill-considered policy choice on the backs” of the school safety agents, the complaint says, according to a copy obtained by The Post.
While the hearing isn’t scheduled to take place until Wednesday, the Department of Education (DOE) anticipates they will be victorious. An email from Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter was sent out to DOE staff Saturday morning saying “we should continue to prepare for the possibility that the vaccine mandate will go into effect later in the week.”
“We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve.” Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for NYC Public Schools said.
More than 82 percent have been vaccinated, which means as 28,000 workers have not been, Klein pointed out.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced a mandate in August requiring proof of partial vaccination for those who wished to go out to eat, exercise at the gym, go to concert performances, or other indoor activities. “If you want to participate in our city fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said during an August 3 press conference.