Mayor de Blasio announces vaccine mandate for all NYC workers, including NYPD, FDNY
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all New York City workers, including police and firefighters.
City employees will receive an extra $500 in their paycheck for receiving their first shot at a city-run vaccination site. This benefit will end at 5 p.m. on Oct. 29. By that point, all employees will be required to have proof of at least one dose.
Unvaccinated employees will be placed on unpaid leave until they show proof of vaccination to their supervisor.
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Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi will sign a commissioner’s order today to formalize the mandate. The mandate will apply to approximately 160,500 workers. According to city officials, 71% percent of the workers affected by this mandate have already received at least one vaccine dose.
“We have led the way against COVID-19 – from fighting for the right to vaccinate front-line workers, to providing nation-leading incentives, to creating the Key to NYC mandate," says de Blasio.
Executive Director Henry Garrido also released a statement saying. "We encourage all our members to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families. The proposed mandate must be collectively bargained, and we expect city hall to slow down and sit down with us.”
FDNY says about 60% of its members are vaccinated while the NYPD sits at 71%. The DSNY is at a 60% vaccination rate. Both the NYPD and FDNY commissioners have said they support this mandate.
While the heads of both the FDNY and NYPD have backed this, some of the unions have not.
“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," PBA President Patrick J. Lynch. "Now that the city has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we will proceed with legal action to protect our members’ rights.”
DEA President Paul DiGiacomo added, "The DEA was a fierce proponent of making the COVID vaccine available to Detectives so they can choose to get it. And as nearly 70% of members are vaccinated, it's just that - a choice. Our union will fight just as hard as we did to ensure members could get the vaccine as we will ensure they're not mandated to do it. The rights of every Detective is our top priority."
The Oct. 29 deadline to get the vaccine applies to all city workers except for uniformed Department of Correction members. The mandate still applies to them, but the deadline isn't until Dec. 1, and the reason behind that is due to staffing shortages at Rikers Island, according to the mayor.