On Wednesday, Democratic Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio announced that all city workers will need to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In an announcement, the city laid out the plan, noting that “[a]ll City workers, excluding uniformed correction officers, [will be] required to have at least one dose by 5pm on October 29th,” including an incentive for employees to will receive $500 for getting their first dose at a city vaccination location through the end of next week.
Unvaccinated workers will be put on unpaid leave until they provide evidence of their vaccination to their supervisor, per the announcement. The requirement will affect around 160,500 city employees, and the announcement added that 71% of the employees who will be under the mandate have already gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The announcement went on:
The new mandate is effective on November 1st to the entire municipal workforce, including all NYPD, FDNY, and DSNY employees. Civilian employees of the Department of Correction (DOC) and uniformed members assigned to healthcare settings are also immediately subject to the mandate. Other uniformed members at DOC will be subject to mandate effective December 1st, as the City works diligently to address the ongoing staffing situation at Rikers Island.
“There is no greater privilege than serving the people of New York City, and that privilege comes with a responsibility to keep yourself and your community safe,” said Mayor de Blasio in the statement. “We have led the way against COVID-19 – from fighting for the right to vaccinate frontline workers, to providing nation-leading incentives, to creating the Key to NYC mandate. As we continue our recovery for all of us, city workers have been a daily inspiration. Now is the time for them to show their city the path out of this pandemic once and for all.”
At the end of the statement, the city added that it “will begin impact bargaining with affected unions immediately.”
Mayor de Blasio discussed the mandate in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” after releasing the new mandate, according to The Associated Press.
He said, “We’ve got to end the COVID-era. Our police officers, our EMTs, our firefighters, all our public employees — a lot of them come in very close contact with their fellow New Yorkers.”
“They need to be safe. Their families need to safe, but we also need to reassure all New Yorkers that if you’re working with a public employee, they’re vaccinated. Everyone’s going to be safe,” he added.
Police departments across the country have seen complications arise from vaccine requirements as officers and unions push back against mandates.
As The Daily Wire reported, in light of a vaccine mandate for police officers in Chicago, “Illinois State Police and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency have instructed a number of police departments in the suburbs of Chicago to contribute officers in case of a shortage of police officers, according to a report from Chicago’s WGN9 TV.”
One of the departments has already said it will not provide assistance.
“Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain told WGN he would not send his deputies to the city because of the political agendas of Mayor Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.”
In Seattle, Washington, police officers were seen flying “Don’t Tread On Me” flags on their patrol cars in defiance of the vaccine mandate.
As The Daily Wire reported:
The deadline for Washington state employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 arrived on Monday, but some Seattle police officers now face being fired after they declined to get the shot.
In August, Gov. Jay Inslee announced at a press conference alongside Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan that state workers must get vaccinated in order to remain employed. Seattle implemented its own vaccine requirement for city employees.
The president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), which represents more than 1,300 Seattle officers, argued that officers should have the option to wear face masks or get tested regularly for COVID-19 without having their current assignments stripped.