New York City, NY – A small victory in New York City School as a federal court of appeals delays the city from implementing its vaccine mandate for New York City School employees on Friday.
The restraining order was granted by a federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday and is now scheduled for expedited review to a three-judge federal panel. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. The mandate was scheduled to go into effect on Monday but is on hold for now.
In late August, just moments after the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the FDA. Mayor de Blasio mandated that all NYC School employees must get the vaccine by September 27. Despite teachers’ unions warning that the mandate could result in a shortage of teachers, de Blasio went through with the mandate.
“We’ve been planning all along. We have a lot of substitutes ready,” – Mayor de Blasio.
When the federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, the city asked for the hearing to be expedited.
“By casting a cloud over the Commissioner of Health’s order regarding vaccination of DOE workers, and the outcome of a labor arbitration conducted by plaintiffs’ labor representatives, the administrative injunction threatens the DOE’s safe resumption of full school operations for the city’s nearly one million students – hundreds of thousands of whom are not yet eligible to be vaccinated,” – excerpt from a letter sent to the court from NYC.
The NYC Department of Education also released a statement regarding the decision.
“We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve. Our current vax-or-test mandate remains in effect, and we’re seeking speedy resolution by the Circuit Court next week. Over 82% of DOE employees have been vaccinated, and we continue to urge all employees to get their shot by September 27.” NYC Dept. of Education
The case was initially brought before a federal Brooklyn judge who denied the injunction but was successfully overturned before the Court of Appeals.
“While we still await a ruling in a separate state court review of the city’s vaccine mandate, the federal court ruling gives the Mayor and city Department of Education more time to put together a real plan for dealing with the expected staff vacancies the mandate would create. We hope they take advantage of this opportunity,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.
Currently, 10,000 teachers are unvaccinated, and many schools are struggling to replace them before the deadline for the vaccine mandate. Regardless of their position, any school employee will be terminated if the vaccine mandate goes into effect. They will have to report their status the day the mandate goes into effect, and if they are not vaccinated, they are not to report to work the next day. Meaning principals could show up to work with little or no staff with no notice. They are leaving the New York City School District to replace thousands of workers in a very short time.