NEW YORK – Time is running out for New York City educators and school staff to get their mandated COVID vaccine shot.
All 130,000 Department of Education employees have just until Monday evening, Sept. 27 to show proof of their first shot, or risk not being paid.
The teacher unions’ lawsuit against the city suffered a blow this week after a judge rejected their effort to stall the mandate.
With upwards of 10,000 teachers yet to get vaccinated, the unions are now calling on City Hall to push back the deadline, in order to have more time to come up with a contingency plan.
“It is dangerous and irresponsible for the city to move forward with its plan to allow schools and centers to operate so severely understaffed,” said Mark Cannizzaro, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA).
However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is ready with a plan B.
“We have thousands and thousands of vaccinated, experienced substitute teachers ready to go,” the mayor said at his daily COVID briefing Thursday.
De Blasio will even deploy members of the central office if needed for staffing shortages on Tuesday.
However, City Hall is downplaying a potential classroom crisis.
“The reality we’re seeing right now is we think the overwhelming majority of our educators and staff are going to be there on Monday,” de Blasio said.
The teachers’ union is one of the most vaccinated unions in the city at 90%, however thousands have applied for religious or medical exemptions to the vaccine.