Unions representing the approximately 7,800 teachers who will lose their jobs have been largely silent about mass firings due to New York City’s vaccine mandate.
New York City teachers must get vaccinated by Friday in order to keep working, The New York Times (NYT) reported. While several New York City unions have criticized the rushed implementation of the mandate and expressed concern over the looming issue of understaffed schools, unions have been largely silent on the issue of firing unvaccinated teachers.
NEW from @NYCMayor on @InsideCityHall: NYC has the right to move fwd with our school vaccine mandate. @NYCSchools employees have until end of day Friday so that by Monday, October 4, 100% of the educators + staff in our buildings will be vaccinated.
— Danielle Filson (@DanielleFilson) September 27, 2021
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators in New York City criticized the city for going forward with the mandate before addressing the impending staffing shortage, calling it “dangerous and irresponsible” to allow schools to operate so understaffed.
The president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) similarly called for the city to delay the mandate’s implementation, stating that schools “are not ready for the implementation of the vaccine mandate.”
When asked how the union would support unvaccinated workers, a spokesperson for UFT directed the Daily Caller to its vaccine mandate and exemptions page, which explains that teachers without a vaccine or a valid exemption may choose between termination and unpaid leave.
“Permanent medical exemptions … will only be considered where the individual has a documented allergic reaction such that the member cannot receive any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines,” the page states.
The American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and AFL-CIO did not respond to the Daily Caller’s requests for comment.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city has thousands of substitute teachers on standby, the Wall Street Journal reported. Only about one-third of its chapter leaders believe their schools can open without disruption, according to UFT.
The New York City Mayor’s Office announced Monday that 90% of the city’s approximately 78,000 teachers were vaccinated. Teachers who have not received their first shot by midnight Friday will be removed from payroll Monday morning, according to NYT.
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