Thousands of Unvaccinated New York City School Employees Placed on Unpaid Leave

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As the vaccine mandate takes effect, 95% of all employees show evidence of at least one dose; 1,800 school security agents don’t

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The union said about 4,000 employees representing the United Federation of Teachers were missing from schools as of Monday afternoon, including about 2,000 teachers.

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The union said in-person classes resumed on Monday after school officials spent the weekend identifying potential shortages and deploying substitute teachers.

Vaccination rates among employees in some key roles were lower than those of teachers. According to union officials, about 84% of the school security agents providing security on campuses were vaccinated, leaving about 1,800 officers on unpaid leave from schools on Monday.

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Mr. de Blasio said on Monday that he is hopeful that more staff located in the city’s 1600 schools will be vaccinated in the coming days.

“Every adult in our schools is vaccinated now. This will continue to be the rule. This is the way to keep children safe,” Mr. de Blasio said, emphasizing that the issue has been taken up by multiple levels of courts. is retained.

Mr. de Blasio’s announcement comes after weeks of uncertainty and concern among teachers and their unions that schools will experience staff shortages and that the city’s supply of 9,000 vaccinated substitute teachers and 5,000 vaccinated substitute paraprofessionals will be deployed in those schools. Will have a hard time doing what they need.

Under the terms of the mandate, all school workers were required to show proof by Friday afternoon that they had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid being on unpaid leave. According to the DOE, employees who vaccinated over the weekend and provided proof of vaccination status by Monday morning were allowed to work as usual and were returned to active status. New York City, the nation’s largest school district, is one of the first schools in the country to require school workers to be vaccinated.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said the union was helped by a mandate extension that gave teachers several extra days to vaccinate.

The DOE said about 18,000 shots have been given to school staff since September 24.

“Thankfully, we had the delay we called for,” said Mr. Mulgrew. “We were happy to have it, because we are in a better position today than we would have been last Tuesday.”

Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, a union of school safety agents, said officials were under-staffed before the pandemic and could not predict when he expected more of them to be shot in the coming days. were that it would happen. .

“I’d be careful about saying something like that. I have to be honest,” he said. “It can take weeks for people to figure out, ‘Hey, I can’t get the check.’ “

write to Lee Hawkins at [email protected]

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