NEW YORK — School teachers and staff members in New York City who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine have gotten a reprieve now that the courts put a temporary injunction on the vaccine mandate, which was expected to go into effect.
Both sides will be battling it out in court this week, but in the meantime, in-person learning will still be in session.
President of the United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew told PIX11 the temporary block gives them more time to plan in the case a mandate goes through in the future.
He criticized the mayor and city for trying to enforce the mandate in the beginning, saying it “made no sense.”
Mulgrew said less than 6,000 UFT members who work in schools remain unvaccinated, which is about 5% of the union.
Of those 6,000, about 3,000 teachers and Department of Education staff have applied for religious and medical exemptions to the vaccine, according to Mulgrew.
Close to 600 people have been granted exemptions and accommodations, according to the UFT president.
“Since the day the mayor announced this mandate, we have been asking for a plan,” Mulgrew said. “There is no plan. It’s just basically each school is on their own.”
“Constant turmoil is not healthy,” Mulgrew added.