The vaccine mandate for teachers in New York City has been approved by a judge panel.
New York City’s vaccine mandate for public school staff was approved by a panel of judges on Monday.
As a three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved a temporary stay on the requirement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stated public school personnel must be vaccinated by 5 p.m. on Friday.
“Vaccines are our most powerful instrument in the fight against COVID-19 — this verdict is legal and will safeguard our children and staff,” a Department of Education representative stated. “The obligation will take effect at the end of the day on Friday, so that by Monday, Oct. 4, all educators and personnel in our buildings will have been vaccinated.”
Attorneys Mark Fonte and Louis Gelormino, who filed a lawsuit opposing the mandate on behalf of a group of teachers, said they would urge the Supreme Court to stop it.
“The City may come to regret what it wished for with thousands of instructors not vaccinated,” Fonte added. “Our children will be left in schools with no teachers and no security.”
As of Monday, 87 percent of all New York City Department of Education staff, including 90 percent of teachers and 97 percent of principals, have received at least one dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, 10,000 instructors are still unvaccinated, raising fears that the mandate may result in a teacher shortage if enough substitutes are not available.
Unions have petitioned the state to extend the deadline, claiming that only around one-third of teachers feel their schools would be able to start without interruption, according to Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.
Mulgrew stated, “The city has a lot of work ahead of it to ensure that enough vaccinated employees will be available by the deadline.” “We will work with our members to ensure that, to the extent possible, our schools can open safely as the vaccine mandate is implemented.”
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