New York City will require all of its municipal workforce to be vaccinated against Covid-19, eliminating the possibility of testing and joining a group of state and local governments with similar mandates.
Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to announce an ordinance on Wednesday that would mean some 46,000 city workers would have to get their first shot by October 29 or potentially lose their jobs, a spokeswoman said. The new rule covers 160,500 workers, of whom around 71% are partially or fully vaccinated, according to official estimates. The city said 70% of police officers and 60% of firefighters had received at least one shot.
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Non-compliant employees will be put on unpaid leave and city hall officials plan to negotiate with unions in the coming days on the procedures that would follow, the spokeswoman said. The city is already demanding vaccines for education and public health workers. Of the 167,000 employees of the city’s school system, 96% complied.
New York City’s roughly 8,000 correctional officers will face a later deadline of December 1, the spokeswoman said. The city is struggling to maintain staffing levels at its Rikers Island prison complex.
“The city’s workers have been a daily inspiration,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Now is the time for them to show their city the way forward to emerge from this pandemic once and for all.”
Some states and local governments are pushing vaccination mandates for public workers to increase inoculation levels. Others, including Texas, have banned such requirements.
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The deadlines in many states and cities that require their employees to get vaccinated, with no testing option, have arrived in recent days. The governments in these places are now taking action to deal with the thousands of employees who have not complied. Some have resigned or been made redundant, others have been placed on leave and some have been given several months extensions to be vaccinated.
Many of the unvaccinated people work in law enforcement, firefighting and correctional facilities.
The question of whether to lay off such employees is particularly difficult because many governments, such as private companies, are already struggling to recruit and retain workers.
Derogations from mandates are generally permitted for medical or religious reasons.
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In Chicago, Police Superintendent David Brown told a press conference on Tuesday that 67% of the department’s employees had indicated whether or not they had been vaccinated by the Oct. 15 deadline, compared to 79% of workers in the department. the city. The deadline for Chicago employees to get vaccinated is late December.
City administrators are holding one-on-one meetings with workers who have not complied, Brown said. So far, they have met hundreds of officers and civilian employees, and 21 have been placed on unpaid leave.
“We have sworn to protect these people in the community. It would violate our oath to bring this virus into their homes,” Brown said.
In San Francisco, the Mayor of London Breed, a Democrat, said on Tuesday that 96% of 35,000 city workers are vaccinated and the city is holding hearings in 396 cases that did not comply with the city’s mandate .
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said in an interview that if the department loses officers who refuse to be vaccinated, it will cover vacancies within the department. “It will be a success,” he said. “We don’t want to lose anybody.”
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Los Angeles had demanded that its 53,168 municipal workers be vaccinated by Wednesday or request a waiver. According to a proposal released on Tuesday, city officials plan to extend the deadline to December 18. Data released by the mayor’s office shows that 70% of city employees said they were fully vaccinated, 9% are not vaccinated, and 18% did not provide their status.
About 58% of LA firefighter workers were fully vaccinated on Tuesday, according to city data. More than 800 firefighters have filed papers saying they intend to sue the city to have the warrant quashed.
President Biden announced in September that federal employees must be fully immunized by November 22 or be disciplined, until they are terminated. The Ministry of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is developing rules that will require private sector workers in companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19.
Jon Kamp, Kris Maher and Zusha Elinson contributed to this article