New Yorker’s strike against NYC vaccine mandate, Court agrees with temporary suspension

New Yorker’s strike against NYC vaccine mandate, Court agrees with temporary suspension

The forced vaccination as a condition of employment for Department of Education workers was temporarily blocked Tuesday night by the Manhattan Supreme Court. This represents a significant win for New York City’s major municipal unions in their struggle against City Hall’s vaccine mandate.

Judge Laurence L. Love issued the temporary restraining order in response to a lawsuit brought against the city by a slew of major municipal unions who oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s directive.

The judge set a Sept. 22 court date for the unions to argue against the mandate.

Teachers and anti-vaccine groups protest City Hall’s vaccine mandate at Foley Square, Manhattan, on September 13, 2021. Kevin C. Downs

Until then, Love ruled the city is “temporarily restrained from implementing” the mandate, which requires all DOE staffers to have at least one vaccine dose by Sept. 27 or face termination.

Henry Garrido, as executive director of District Council 37, one of the petitioners in the suit, hailed Tuesday’s decision.

“While we do believe our members should get the vaccine, we do not believe it should be a condition of employment,” Garrido said in a statement.

“Clearly, the courts agree. The fight is not over, but we are energized by this decision and ready to keep going on behalf of our members.”

But a City Hall spokesperson downplayed the significance of the decision, saying that based on the ruling, there “is no delay” in the mandate’s implementation.

“New York City’s education worker vaccine mandate, which has been embraced by the White House, goes into effect on September 27. The court’s action today expires on September 22,” the spokesperson said. 

Last week, a city arbitrator ruled that DOE workers may apply for medical or religious exemptions.

Tuesday’s decision also comes on the heels of a similar ruling earlier in the day, when a federal judge granted state health care workers a temporary reprieve from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.