New York state teacher’s union opposes staff vaccine mandates
A union representing teachers in New York on Monday came out against the state’s vaccine mandate for public workers, saying while it does encourage teachers to get vaccinated, it will not support a requirement.
“We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one,” the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union said in a statement.
“We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate,” NYSUT added.
According to the union’s website, it currently represents more than 600,000 members who work in education, human services and health care in New York.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced last week that he would be requiring all state workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing.
“New York State will mandate all state employees either be vaccinated or get tested regularly,” Cuomo said. “We are working with the state unions to implement this program quickly & fairly. Will take effect by Labor Day.”
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has similarly enacted a requirement for all public city workers.
A union representing emergency workers in New York also came out against the mandate, accusing the city of disregarding the “civil liberties of the workforce.”
“Our members at FDNY EMS are highly trained medical professionals, yet they continue to be disrespected and disregarded by city leadership, which believes we can feed our families on poverty wages,” the Fire Department of New York EMS Local 2507 said in a statement last week.