New York school teachers and staff get deadline for vaccination warrant

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This story was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education. Subscribe to their newsletters here: ckbe.at/newsletters


New York City’s vaccination mandate for education department employees was suspended after a federal judge temporarily blocked it on Friday evening, officials said.

The obligation to receive at least one dose The coronavirus vaccine was due to go into effect Monday at the close of business on Monday, with unvaccinated staff members banned from entering schools on Tuesday and facing unpaid leave. But a federal appeals court has granted an injunction that is expected to remain in place until a three-judge panel hears the case on Wednesday.

Administrators having prepared for staff shortages, since a large minority of teachers, school security officers, and other staff still not received the vaccine. At least 87% of teachers are vaccinated, according to municipal authorities.

Rates are believed to be much lower for other essential school staff, however, and the principals union said some large schools have dozens of unvaccinated teachers. Friday, about 30,000 employees of the education department still had not provided proof that they had received their injection.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter visits a school in Brooklyn.
Michael Appleton / Mayor’s Office of Photography

Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter wrote to principals on Saturday morning that the education department is confident that the mandate will ultimately be upheld.

She reminded staff that the city’s vaccination or testing requirement is maintained, which calls on unvaccinated staff members to submit weekly negative coronavirus tests.

“We are confident that our vaccine mandate will continue to be met; our students, school communities and colleagues deserve no less, ”Porter wrote.

It’s time to have a “real plan”

The city’s immunization mandate faces challenges on several fronts. A coalition of unions in the city also filed a lawsuit to arrest him. The judge in that case blocked a temporary injunction against the requirement.

The teachers‘ union had also filed a complaint against the city, which ultimately led the education department to establish a process for educators to benefit from medical and religious exemptions, as well as accommodations for people with disabilities. health problems that could make going back to school dangerous.

United Teachers’ Federation president Michael Mulgrew said the Federal Court ruling “gives the city’s mayor and education ministry more time to develop a real plan to deal with the expected vacancies. personnel that the mandate would create ”.

The education department alerted preschool and child care providers who contract with the city that they must still comply with the vaccination requirement before the initial deadline. However, there will not yet be any consequences for the programs.

“We will temporarily delay the application to attempt to start the application system-wide at the same time,” according to a notice sent to vendors.

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