Education leaders push back against public school vaccination mandate slated to begin on Monday
There was a major pushback Thursday night against the city's vaccine mandate for New York City public school employees, which is slated to begin in four days.
The city is requiring all public-school staff to get their first dose of the covid-19 vaccine by Monday, but some are worried this requirement will create a teacher shortage.
This mandate applies not just to teachers, but to anyone who works in a public-school building, including counselors, custodians, and cafeteria workers.
If the city keeps its deadline, these employees have just four days to get their first shot.
On Wednesday, a state judge lifted the temporary restraining order for the vaccine requirement saying the mandate can go on as planned.
Unlike other members of the workforce, educators cannot opt-out of the vaccine with a weekly COVID-19 test.
Both the United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators have said that schools are not ready to implement a vaccine mandate in only a few days.
CSA President Mark Cannizzaro said in a statement that the Principal's Union supports vaccinations but that requiring it will leave schools understaffed.
He says, "It is dangerous and irresponsible for the city to move forward with its plan to allow schools and centers to operate so severely understaffed. As a result, we are calling on the city to delay the deadline for the mandate to allow the city to develop a reasonable contingency plan."
Nevertheless, the Dept. of Education praised the ruling saying: "The vast majority of employees have been vaccinated and the number will continue to rise over the coming days. We administered 7,000 vaccinations on school campuses across the city last week, hired thousands of new teachers and staff, and have a large reserve of qualified workers who are ready to fill in if needed.”