New York City’s COVID vaccine mandate for municipal workers took effect Monday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said 91% of the city’s more than 300,000 employees are vaccinated. The remaining 9,000 unvaccinated workers have been put on unpaid leave. “This mandate was the right thing to do,” de Blasio said Monday. “We now see it worked.”
First responder and uniformed agencies have some of the lowest vaccination rates, though they have climbed in recent days: 77 percent of firefighters have received at least one shot, 83 percent of Sanitation workers, 85 percent of the NYPD and 88 percent of emergency medical services.
De Blasio said agencies are filling in the gaps with overtime and extra shifts. “We’re not seeing disruptions to any city services,” he said Monday. “People are picking up the slack.” Union reps continue to ask the mayor to push back the mandate to December, as he did for the correction officers union due to the staffing crisis at Rikers Island.
“They have a well-known staffing problem and we have kind of an unknown staffing problem because our members have been willing to work longer hours and harder hours for the citizens of the City of New York, and now it’s actually being held against us,” Ansbro said. “If you don’t have enough people on the truck, the ladder, half the members find the fire and the victims, the other half facilitate letting heat and smoke out of the building, and also search for victims.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said there is no effect on service as most of the 15% who are unvaccinated are still working while they wait to hear back on religious and medical exemptions.
Garbage pickup is impacted. On 35th Street near Park Avenue, Monday garbage piled up. Residents told CBS2 it had not been picked up in a week. “They should be doing their job” one man said. “It’s piled very high. It’s dangerous because we can get rodents,” said one woman.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: GLOBAL.CHINADAILY.COM
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