1,800 NYC School Safety Agents Placed on Leave for Not Complying with Vax Mandate
Only 84% of New York City’s school safety agents have been vaccinated for COVID, so about 1,800 officers were placed on unpaid leave on Monday.
New York – On Monday, the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for New York City school employees took effect. The requirement prompted many workers in the nation’s largest public school system to get vaccinated before the deadline.
The department of education said about 18,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to employees since September 24, and about 43,000 doses have been administered since the mandate was announced August 23.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said 95% of district employees had received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 96% of teachers being vaccinated. Additionally, 99% of principals were vaccinated, with some schools reporting all of their teachers having received the jab, reports ABC7NY.
However, as of Monday, about 8,000 employees were unable to report to work because they refused the shot, reports New York Magazine. Only 84% of school safety agents have been vaccinated for COVID, so about 1,800 officers were placed on unpaid leave, reports the Wall Street Journal.
In preparation for the teacher absences, the education department last weekend had 9,000 vaccinated substitute teachers and 5,000 vaccinated substitute paraprofessionals prepared to fill the void.
As far as the school safety agents who are holding out, Gregory Floyd, president of the school safety agents’ union, Teamsters Local 237 told the Wall Street Journal that he hopes more will soon get the shot, but he wasn’t going to predict when or if it would actually occur.
“It might take people a couple of weeks to figure out, ‘Hey, I’m not getting a check,’” he said.
The school system’s vaccination mandate doesn’t include the option for employees to get tested for COVID-19 rather than get the shot. Additionally, no distance learning option is being offered to students this year. The mandate does allow for medical and religious exemptions.
Some people who oppose the requirement protested on Monday. In one incident, protestors flipped over a COVID-19 testing facility’s tent and table as they marched past it, reports US News.