Mayor Bill de Blasio set a mandate for city employees, on unpaid leave and newly hired, to show proof of vaccination by Feb. 11 or they would be fired, reported ABC News. Oh, he wasn’t bluffing. Per ABC, nearly 1,428 workers who were on unpaid leave were terminated from their jobs.
Mayor Eric Adams tried to warn them last week, projecting an even higher estimate of 3,000 workers to be let go if they refuse the vaccine, reported the New York Times. In response, the anti-vaxxers protested against the city vaccination mandate in a march across the Brooklyn Bridge chanting “Unvaccinated Lives Matter.”
From the Times:
The mandate, put in place by Mr. Adams’s predecessor, Bill de Blasio, has been effective: About 95 percent of the city’s 370,000 workers have received at least one dose of the vaccine, an increase from 84 percent when the mandate was first announced in October.
Mr. Adams has repeatedly said that he preferred not to fire police officers, firefighters and teachers, but that it was more important to enforce vaccination against the virus.
“We have to be very clear — people must be vaccinated if they are New York City employees,” Mr. Adams said at a news conference on Thursday in the Bronx. “Everyone understood that.”
Adams also reiterated that his administration isn’t firing the workers but rather they are quitting by refusing to get poked, reported the Times. If the city lost an estimated one percent of its workforce, it will be the largest reduction in workers due to vaccine mandating in the country, according to the Times.
ABC News reported by the data from a City Hall held Monday, the Department of Education alone saw a loss of 914 employees. In addition were 101 workers terminated from the Housing Authority, 36 workers from the NYPD and 25 workers from the New York Fire Department.
On the other hand, about 939 employees on unpaid leave decided to get the vaccine and stay working, per ABC. New hires weren’t playing around either as 99.8% of them had vaccination proof to start their new jobs.
The New York Times also reported another 9,000 unvaccinated workers were seeking exemptions to vaccination mandates through unions.
From the Times:
New York has also seen resistance to its mandate. Unions filed a lawsuit, arguing that the city had overstepped its authority, but the challenges were not successful. A group of unions filed a new lawsuit on Tuesday, claiming that the city was not following due process by firing workers.
In all, about 13,000 workers have applied for exemptions, which are known as reasonable accommodations, and 54 percent of those requests have been processed so far, according to city officials. About 2,100 were approved and 4,910 were denied.
Mayor Adams made it clear the goal was always to keep those who worked on the frontlines safe as well as the people they serve. “I’m grateful to all the city workers who continue to serve New Yorkers and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for the greatest city in the world,” said Adams via ABC News.