Controversy arises over Newark mayor’s mandate that all city employees get COVID-19 vaccine

There is controversy in Newark after Mayor Ras Baraka told city workers that they must get the COVID-19 vaccine or face disciplinary action or termination.
Unlike other municipalities that have similar mandates, Newark employees must get the vaccine. They cannot undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Baraka says in a statement, "Requiring our municipal workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is about protecting the health and well-being of our municipal team, their families, as well as the residents and visitors they come into contact with."
The decision comes as New Jersey experiences a surge in cases. But the mayor’s executive order has prompted police and fire department union leaders to file a restraining order to stop the effort.
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Newark Fire Officers Union president Anthony Tarantino calls the mayor’s move “heavy-handed.”
"We feel that we were not negotiated with and this is hasty and we have not been able to discuss the impact from this order,” Tarantino says.
“Meaning discipline, that's an impact…the time frames…privacy issues concerning medical records we may have to produce. If there are any exemptions, what reasonable accommodations the city may offer,” says Newark Police Capt. John Crystal.
Exemptions to the mandate will be allowed for religious or medical reasons.
Officials with the police and fire unions say that about half of their members are vaccinated.