(NEW YORK) — About 9,000 New York Metropolis municipal employees had been placed on unpaid go away for refusing to adjust to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that took impact Monday and 1000’s of metropolis firefighters have known as out sick in an obvious protest over the requirement, Mayor Invoice de Blasio mentioned.
About 9 in 10 metropolis employees coated by the mandate have gotten vaccinated and there have been no disruptions to metropolis companies on account of staffing shortages, de Blasio advised reporters at his each day information briefing. New York has greater than 300,000 metropolis workers.
Firehouses remained open however 18 of the division’s 350 models had been out of service and “many models are understaffed,” Hearth Commissioner Daniel Nigro mentioned. Sanitation employees made an additional pickup on Sunday to make sure trash wouldn’t pile up, the mayor mentioned.
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“I need to thank everybody who received vaccinated,” de Blasio mentioned. “Thanks for getting vaccinated. Thanks for doing the proper factor. Thanks for transferring us ahead.”
Metropolis officers have been battling fierce resistance amongst a minority of employees in some vital public security jobs, together with cops and firefighters, in addition to a pending authorized problem to the mandate by town’s largest police union.
As of Sunday, 1 in 4 of town’s uniformed firefighters nonetheless hadn’t gotten a primary dose of the vaccine, as required. About 1 in 6 police personnel and 1 in 6 sanitation employees had been nonetheless unvaccinated.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea mentioned the overwhelming majority of unvaccinated employees in his division have utilized for non secular or medical exemptions to the vaccine mandate. Up to now, simply 34 cops and 40 civilian police workers have been positioned on unpaid go away he mentioned.
Greater than 3,500 metropolis employees had been vaccinated over the weekend. That was after a 5 p.m. Friday deadline to gather a $500 bonus for exhibiting proof they’d gotten a dose of the vaccine however earlier than they had been to be placed on unpaid go away.
About 12,000 employees have utilized for non secular or medical exemptions. They’ll stay on the job whereas metropolis officers assessment these purposes.
About 2,300 firefighters had been out sick, up from what’s usually about 1,000 per day, in what Nigro mentioned seemed to be a protest in opposition to the vaccine mandate. The hearth division’s medical workplace usually sees about 200 individuals a day, Nigro mentioned. The previous week, it has been 700 a day, the bulk unvaccinated.
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“I’ve requested them to rethink this, to recollect their oath of workplace,” Nigro mentioned. “It’s not solely affecting the individuals they serve, it’s affecting their brothers and sisters within the division who’re pressured to fill their spots.”
De Blasio mentioned town is watching to see if the firefighters union is coordinating the sick outs and would take them to courtroom if there’s proof of an unlawful strike. He mentioned firefighters who’re discovered to be faking sickness are “AWOL successfully” and can face inside division self-discipline.
“Individuals get actually troubled actually fast when individuals don’t present as much as do their jobs in the event that they’re probably not sick,” de Blasio mentioned. “And we have now each cause to consider there’s lots of people on the market claiming to be sick, who usually are not. It’s not acceptable.”
Metropolis officers have mentioned they’re ready for attainable staffing shortfalls, calling in vaccinated workers for additional time shifts.
The top of the union that represents New York Metropolis firefighters, which has fought the vaccine mandate, warned that public security might be in danger. The hearth division has mentioned it was ready to take as much as 20% of its hearth firms out of service and have 20% fewer ambulances on the highway.
“We’re right here as we speak due to a mandate that was put not solely on our members, but in addition all New York Metropolis workers, given 9 days to make a life-changing choice on their profession or whether or not or not they’re going to take a vaccine,” Uniformed Firefighters Affiliation President Andrew Ansbro mentioned at an early morning information convention.
Mayor Invoice de Blasio has mentioned town’s highest public security precedence is stopping the unfold of COVID-19, which continues to kill a handful of individuals within the metropolis on daily basis.