New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday gave public education employees a Friday deadline to get partially vaccinated following a legal victory that says such a mandate can move forward.
In an interview with Spectrum News 1, the mayor said public school employees have until 5 p.m. on Oct. 1 to get at least the first vaccine dose.
“If you have not have gotten that first dose Friday, 5 p.m., we will assume you are not coming to work on Monday and you will not be paid starting Monday and we will fill your role with a substitute or an alternative employee,” he said.
Fox News has reached out to de Blasio’s office and the attorney for the United Federation of Teachers for comment.
The announcement came after a three-judge panel from the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the city’s vaccine mandate can move forward. The ruling came two days earlier from when the panel was expected to hold a hearing on the issue.
The court issued a temporary injunction on the mandate last week.
De Blasio said the vaccine requirement goes into effect on Oct. 4. Originally, all teachers and school employees were supposed to be partially vaccinated by Monday.
“Vaccinations are our strongest tool in the fight against COVID-19 – this ruling is on the right side of the law and will protect our students and staff,” the city’s Department of Education said in a statement.
The mayor said around 87% of Department of Education employees have already received at least one dose, including 90% of teachers and 97% of principals.
“The city’s estimate is that 97% of the teachers have been vaccinated, but according to our recent survey of UFT chapter leaders, only about one-third believe that as of now their schools can open without disruption, given the potential shortage of unvaccinated personnel, including school aides and security personnel,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.
“The city has a lot of work before it to ensure that enough vaccinated staff will be available by the new deadline,” he added. “We will be working with our members to ensure, as far as possible, that our schools can open safely as the vaccine mandate is enforced.”
The mandate has prompted concerns from some who fear it could result in a shortage of teachers and substitutes.
“For parents and kids, this should be a real sense of relief to see the numbers are already so high,” de Blasio said. “And that says great things about our ability to have a safe school system and keep everything moving.”
Louis Gelormino, an attorney for the UFT, told Fox News he was prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court.
“How can laying off or suspending 28,000, and that’s not an exaggerated number, DOE employees not have an effect on the New York City schools, which don’t run very efficiently in the best of times,” he said. “We’re reviewing our options and there’s a good possibility that we might try to take it up to the Supreme Court.”.