Over 2,000 New York Metropolis Firefighters Took Sick Days as Vaccine Mandate Looms

Greater than 2,000 New York Metropolis firefighters have taken sick days over the previous week in what metropolis officers describe as a large-scale protest in opposition to the town’s Covid vaccine mandate for municipal employees, which fits into impact Monday.

“Irresponsible bogus sick depart by a few of our members is making a hazard for New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters,” the hearth commissioner, Daniel A. Nigro, stated in a press release. He attributed the uptick in sick depart to “anger on the vaccine mandate.”

The Hearth Division’s deputy commissioner for public data, Frank Dwyer, stated that greater than 2,000 Hearth Division personnel had been out on medical depart sooner or later over the previous week, out of a complete uniformed pressure of about 11,000.

The personnel scarcity has put a pressure on Hearth Division operations. The division stated that each one its firehouses stay open, however sustaining protection throughout the town has required shuffling personnel round to reconstitute hearth corporations.

The president of the Uniformed Firefighters Affiliation, the union that represents rank-and-file firefighters, stated there was no organized sickout. However tons of of firefighters had been feeling the unwanted effects of vaccine doses and had been too unwell to work, the U.F.A. president, Andrew Ansbro, stated in a cellphone interview Sunday morning. “Tons of of men are feeling flu-like signs, as a result of that’s what the shot does to folks,” Mr. Ansbro stated.

When the vaccine mandate goes into impact Monday, unvaccinated municipal workers with out a non secular or medical exemption can be positioned on unpaid depart. It’s unclear how the discount within the metropolis’s work pressure will have an effect on providers starting from rubbish pickup to ambulance wait instances.

By Saturday, some 91 p.c of municipal employees had gotten at the least one shot, leaving simply over 24,000 nonetheless unvaccinated.

Within the week and a half since Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced the mandate, greater than 22,000 municipal employees have gotten their first shot and vaccination charges have climbed markedly in lots of metropolis businesses. Most metropolis businesses now have vaccination charges of 90 p.c or above. However a couple of are notably decrease. The Sanitation Division was at 79 p.c and the Hearth Division was at 73 p.c. On the Division of Correction, solely 60 p.c of workers had been vaccinated, though correction officers have an additional month to get vaccinated earlier than the mandate goes into impact.

The New York Police Division has an 84 p.c vaccination price. A small variety of NYPD workers trickled into headquarters on Sunday to file retirement papers forward of the mandate. By 1 p.m., officers counted eight officers who had put of their retirement papers. | Over 2,000 New York Metropolis Firefighters Took Sick Days as Vaccine Mandate Looms

Aila Slisco

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