Last Monday, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that all staff in New York City public schools must have received their first vaccine dose by September 27th. The mandate would cover nearly 148,000 workers, paving the way for other local governments to do the same.
Over a month ago, De Blasio had stated that educators who did not get vaccinated or follow testing requirements would be suspended without pay, and one can expect such a consequence to follow here too.
Local unions, such as the United Federation of Teachers, are still negotiating with the New York Government over the repercussions faced by non compliant employees. District Council 37, has stated that they will file a formal complaint against the mandate.
This effort by Mayor De Blasio, is emblematic of his desire to send kids to school, which may bring back the education that was lost over the pandemic. He has already stated that there will be no remote learning.
Effectively, this order also creates precedent for other city workers, such as police officers, to have similar requirements.
Other states, and private institutions have taken similar action. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy stated that all teachers would have to be vaccinated or be required to take weekly Covid-19 tests. CUNY has already stated that it will require student vaccination mandates, and other universities around the country are following suit.
As of now, students are largely exempt, as Mayor De Blasio has said that mandates for students are “not on the table”. However, high school athletes in high risk sports will have to be vaccinated.