96% of teachers in New York schools are now vaccinated after term of office, 98% of principals vaccinated

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UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) – New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all public school employees is officially in effect, and although Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that 95% of employees in full-time had received at least one injection, around 3,700 substitute teachers were needed on Monday.

The mayor said 96% of teachers and 99% of principals were vaccinated and some schools reported 100% of teachers were in place.

“Every adult in our schools is now vaccinated,” said de Blasio. “(The warrant) clearly works.”

Schools Chancellor Misha Porter said 18,000 new vaccines had been distributed since September 24 and unvaccinated employees could still get vaccinated and return to work.

“Schools in New York City are the safest places,” Porter said.

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UFT President Michael Mulgrew said its members are over 97% vaccinated and close to their average daily attendance, but unvaccinated UFT members are not evenly distributed. He said there were pockets of staffing issues, primarily in Staten Island, and particularly in special schools in District 75 on the south shore of the borough.

School principals spent the weekend planning to fill staff shortages, and Mulgrew estimated that around 1,000 additional teachers were vaccinated over the weekend.

The education department indicates that 9,000 vaccinated substitute teachers and 5,000 vaccinated substitute paraprofessionals are available to replace if necessary.

Also on Monday, District Council 37, which is New York City’s largest public sector employee union, and the Department of Education announced a vaccination deal for nearly 20,000 employees.

Union members who fail to provide proof of at least one dose of vaccine will be given the option to resign or take time off, and employees who wish to request a medical or religious exemption must do so before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. October. 5.

As of Sunday, October 3, 93% of the nearly 20,000 employees of the DOE at DC 37 had provided proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a significant increase from 68% at the start of September.

For those who have still received the vaccine, the following options are now available to them:

–From October 4, 2021 to October 29, 2021, employees have the option to resign. These employees will be eligible for reimbursement of unused sick leave on an individual basis, up to 100 days. Employees who choose this option will remain eligible for health benefits until September 5, 2022, unless they have health insurance available from another source.

–Employees can request a medical or religious exemption. If the request for a medical or religious exemption is denied, the applicant has 48 hours to appeal the decision, unless additional time is requested and granted. While the exemption / accommodation review process and / or any appeal is pending, the individual remains on leave without pay with health benefits. Employees who are vaccinated and have requested accommodation will have the option of using sick leave and / or annual leave while their request and appeal is pending, if the appeal is granted these employees will be reimbursed for any leave sickness and / or annual used. retroactively to the date of their initial request. Employees who benefit from an exemption will remain on the payroll and maintain their health benefits. The DOE may temporarily assign these employees to work in non-educational DOE buildings, such as DOE Central, or temporarily assign the employee to perform work for another City agency that is not subject to a vaccination.

–Employees without proof of vaccination who do not opt ​​for any of the above options will be automatically placed on unpaid leave effective today, from October 4, 2021 to November 30, 2021 (or until the proof of vaccination is provided). Employees will retain their health insurance benefits during this period and will be prohibited from taking paid employment during the period of leave. During the period from November 1 to November 30, 2021, any employee who is on unpaid leave due to their immunization status may choose to extend the leave until September 5, 2022.

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Any future biological mother who begins the third trimester of pregnancy no later than October 1, 2021 (for example, whose due date is scheduled for January 1, 2022 at the latest), can use sick leave, annual leave and / or compensatory time before the child’s date of birth, but not before October 1, 2021. During childbirth, they will be entitled to paid family leave or to FMLA in accordance with the law and the rules in force. In the event that an eligible employee exhaust the leave accumulated before giving birth, that employee will be placed on unpaid leave, but with medical benefits at least until the birth of the child.

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