City workers face deadline Friday to get COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs
The clock is ticking for thousands of city workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs come Friday.
While data shows that around 95% of the city's 350,000 plus workforce is vaccinated, the city is still on track to lose thousands of employees. It could be one of the largest firing events due to a mandate that the country has seen, and many local labor unions are up in arms.
The terminations would impact all city employees from teachers to sanitation workers to police officers and even firefighters. They need to show a vaccination card that states they have had at least one shot.
Mayor Eric Adams says the workers have to play by the rules.
Andrew Ansbro, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, says they've been fighting this mandate since October. He says there are about 500 firefighters in the process of trying to get legal accommodations, so they won't have to comply. So far, 12 firefighters have been denied accommodations and face termination Friday.
"It's 12 today and it could be 12 more next week and 20 more the week after that as soon as the legal department of New York City gets through and reads these reasonable accommodations with either accepting them or denying them," says Ansbro. "And the vast majority have been denied. This is just the beginning unfortunately and people are going to have to make a decision whether or not they're going to want to pay their bills or submit to a medical procedure."
Ansbro says the Municipal Labor Committee submitted a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the city workers asking for a temporary restraining order to stop the terminations. He says all that can be done now is to hope for a positive outcome.