4 NYC unions reach deal to drop lawsuits over vaccinations

NEW YORK , Many government workers who defied New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate will not be fired. They will continue to get paid, at least for the moment, if they have applied for a religious exemption as part of a labor agreement announced Thursday.

4 NYC unions reach deal to drop lawsuits over vaccinations

NEW YORK , Many government workers who defied New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate will not be fired. They will continue to get paid, at least for the moment, if they have applied for a religious exemption as part of a labor agreement announced Thursday.

Similar to the agreement in force for teachers, the agreement affirms the city’s legal right to impose the mandate to unvaccinated workers in 4 unions but allows those employees to go on an unpaid vacation through June and keeps their health benefits.

Workers who are willing to get inoculated may return to their previous jobs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that employees who have applied for religious exemptions by November 2nd will continue to be on the payroll and subject to weekly testing, while these requests and appeals are processed.

The agreement covers approximately 75,000 workers represented by District Council 37 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Teamsters Local 237, Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association Local 831, and Local 300 of Service Employees International Union.

These unions agreed not to sue the mandate.

De Blasio stated that 92% of the city’s 320,000+ employees have been vaccinated. He said that vaccinations are crucial to our recovery, and that the city's workforce is leading this effort.

Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37, stated in a statement that "We have reached an arrangement that gives our members options." Individuals now have the ability to make decisions based on their needs and families, and they can be assured of health benefits during this crucial time.

When the mandate went into effect on Monday, approximately 9,000 city workers were placed on unpaid leave.

The agreement of Thursday does not apply to employees of fire or police departments.

Many police officers declined to receive the vaccine. However, most have applied for religious exemptions and continue to work. According to the police commissioner, only a few dozen officers have been suspended.

The mandate was implemented at the Fire Department where 1 in 5 firefighters is still unvaccinated. More than 2,000 firefighters applied for sick leave, nearly twice the amount that are usually out sick.

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