Unions Push Back Against City Worker NYC Vaccine Mandate: ‘We Will Proceed With Legal Action’
New Yorkers Mark St. Patrick's Day With Limited Celebrations During Covid-19 Pandemic NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: NYPD officers stand guard during a St. Patrick's Day Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan on March 17, 2021 in New York City. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, held Mass in honor of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of the archdiocese. The traditional St. Patrick's Day festivities in NYC were cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) Michael M. Santiago / Staff
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On Wednesday, unions representing workers in New York City said they would bring legal action against the mayor’s new vaccine requirement. 

As The Daily Wire reported, 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. 

At the end of the statement, the city added that it “will begin impact bargaining with affected unions immediately.”

Unions have started pushing back against the announcement about the mandate. 

“From the beginning of the de Blasio administration‘s haphazard vaccine rollout, we have fought to make the vaccine available to every member who chooses it, while also protecting their right to make that personal medical decision in consultation with their own doctor,” Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said in a statement, “Now that the city has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we will proceed with legal action to protect our members’ rights.”

President of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo, also said, “Our union will fight just as hard as we did to ensure members could get the vaccine as we will to ensure they’re not mandated to do it. The rights of every detective are our top priority.”

As reported by Politico, “Harry Nespoli, head of the Municipal Labor Committee — an umbrella organization of city worker unions — opposes a citywide vaccine mandate, saying workers came in and did their jobs at the peak of the pandemic, and that the weekly testing is a sufficient alternative. He’s meeting with lawyers Wednesday to file a suit against the de Blasio administration.”

“They’re going to negotiate how they’re going to implement this,” Nespoli said. “We’re going to exercise all our legal powers to not have a mandate and to continue it moving in the right direction with the testing.”

Lynch pushed back against vaccine mandate talks for officers in New York City earlier this month.

In a press release on October 6th, Lynch said, “In the PBA’s view, the COVID-19 vaccine is a medical decision that members must make in consultation with their own healthcare providers. We have pushed to make the vaccine available to all members who seek it, and we will continue to protect the rights of members who are not vaccinated.”

“That position has not changed, and neither the city nor the NYPD has advised us of any changes to the current vaccination policy,” Lynch added at the time. 

On October 8, de Blasio had reportedly said, “We’re looking at all options,” regarding a vaccine mandate for police officers. 

According to The Associated Press, earlier this month, “under an executive order signed by the mayor last month, NYPD officers must either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test each week.”

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