New York City announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all police officers, firefighters and city workers in an effort to boost lagging numbers in those agencies.
Workers must get their first shot by Friday, October 29, and starting Wednesday, city employees will receive an extra $500 in their paycheck for getting vaccinated at a city-run vaccination site.
The hope is this mandate inspires people to get their shots, but there could be serious consequences if it doesn’t.
Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro said nearly 3,500 firefighters remain unvaccinated and shouldn’t be forced to get the shot.
Harry Nespoli represents sanitation workers, and he says roughly 2,700 haven’t been vaccinated.
He believes a mandate shows little appreciation for their dedication during the pandemic, and he warns that winter is coming and streets will need to be plowed.
Among police, 30% are still not vaccinated, nearly 11,000 officers who will go on unpaid leave if they refuse.
NYCHA could lose over 5,000 employees and the Department of Social Services more than 3,700.
As for the Department of Corrections, they are already dealing with severe staffing shortages and sick calls that have led to conditions at Rikers Island that many lawmakers are calling horrific.