NYPD mass-firing? De Blasio eliminates routine testing option, says all NYPD officers must follow ‘mandate’

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – According to reports, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier in October that all public employees – which includes the NYPD – must have their first dose of the vaccine administered by October 29th, or else be placed on unpaid leave.

The city mayor stated that the option to engage in routine has since been eliminated as an alternative to taking the COVID vaccine.

Mayor de Blasio delivered the news on October 20th, mandating all municipal employees to be vaccinated, removing the opportunity for unvaccinated city employees to be tested as an alternative.

Employees who get their first shot at a city-run immunization facility will earn an additional $500 in their paycheck starting October 20th. The benefit will conclude on October 29th at 5:00 p.m.

Employees who refuse to get vaccinated will be put on unpaid leave, and their future employment will be determined via subsequent conversations with labor unions. According to officials, the deadline for correction officers will be December 1st.

Mayor de Blasio stated the following about the effort:

“We said we’re not firing people on the spot, we’re saying in plans we came up with other unions, we said please get vaccinated by the deadline. If you do, you continue with your work. If you don’t, you’re going to leave without pay.”

When faced with a deadline, Mayor de Blasio thinks unvaccinated employees would hurry to be vaccinated, citing the example of teachers and health-care professionals. On October 20th, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi issued a Commissioner’s Order formalizing the requirement, which would affect roughly 160,500 municipal employees immediately.

According to city data, around 71% have had at least one shot, with 95% at the 11 city-run hospitals and 96% in schools where vaccinations are required.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro noted that he expects there to be some degree of pushback from some of the unions:

“We certainly expect pushback, the unions have stated there will be some pushback. I think our members have taken an oath of office to serve the public. They have bravely done that for 156 years. They’ve done it through the pandemic and I think they’ll step up and do it now.”

When it comes to first responders, approximately 69% of NYPD employees and 60% of FDNY workers are vaccinated. The PBA has previously asserted that “vaccine is a medical decision that members must make in consultation with their own health care providers.”

PBA President Pat Lynch commented on the recent announcement of mandatory vaccines, noting that the PBA will be exploring legal options to protect their members’ right to make medical decisions on their own:

“From the beginning of the de Blasio administration’s haphazard vaccine rollout, we have fought to make the vaccine available to every member who chooses it, while also protecting their right to make that personal medical decision in consultation with their own doctor.

Now that the city has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we will proceed with legal action to protect our members’ rights.”

Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Benny Boscio Jr. also spoke out against the concept of mandating vaccines for corrections officers:

“Throughout the pandemic, COBA fought vigorously to provide our members with PPE, free COVID-19 testing and access to the vaccines if our members wished to be vaccinated. That being said, we have also maintained that our members deserve the right to free choice with respect to the vaccine.

Given the severity of the ongoing staffing crisis that continues to force our members to work triple and quadruple shifts without meals and rest, it makes no sense to impose a mandate that could result in officers losing their jobs.”

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Mayor de Blasio threatens to withhold pay to NYPD and city employees who refuse to follow his latest demands

(Originally published September 13th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – In the latest bid to increase vaccination rates within the city, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has reportedly threatened to withhold pay from police officers and other city employees if they refuse to either get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing.

Mayor de Blasio threatened to hold back the wages of New York City Police Department officers and other city employees who aren’t COVID-19-vaccinated or are rejecting weekly testing.

All city workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo testing for the virus on a weekly basis, according to Mayor de Blasio order that goes into full effect on September 13th, affecting about 340,000 city workers from numerous sectors across the city.

Speaking during a press conference on September 9th, Mayor de Blasio stated the following:

“If someone, again, does not follow that mandate, that’s true, eventually, they’re not going to be paid, obviously.”

As of September 10th, approximately 53% of NYPD employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to roughly 79% of adults in the city who have done the same. Overall, approximately 71% of all adults in the city have been fully vaccinated.

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch spoke out against the order, namely taking issue with the fact that NYPD officers will have to be vaccinated on their own time and not be compensated for doing so – which he noted in a recent memo that said officials have gone back on their word to pay officers to receive their vaccination:

“Contrary to our previous conversations with the Department, the order indicates that unvaccinated MOS must obtain a COVID-19 test on their own time.”

Lynch says that if the city is mandating either vaccinations or testing, then that time should be compensated:

“In the PBA’s view, any testing mandated by the Department must be conducted on job time and at the city’s expense, and any test received outside of the MOS’s regular working hours should be subject to overtime compensation.”

This rolled out mandate within New York City comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s recent plans where he announced that he’s going to use the power of the Department of Labor – specifically by creating an OSHA rule – that would mandate employers who have 100 or more employees to either require weekly testing or vaccines for all employees:

“The Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”

However, in President Biden’s announced intentions to put the squeeze on larger employers to force the aforementioned, he has also said that these employers would be required “to give those workers paid time off to get vaccinated.”

Yet, a recent piece by Vox, it was noted that there are legitimate questions on whether the Department of Labor has the capacity to impose such a mandate:

“The bottom line is that the fate of the new vaccination rules is uncertain. There is fairly little case law interpreting the Labor Department’s power to issue emergency standards.”

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Seattle, which has lost 300 cops during ‘defund the police’ movement, faces losing 200 more over new “mandate”

(Originally published September 8th, 2021)

SEATTLE, WA- According to reports, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has lost roughly 300 officers since the beginning of the “defund the police” movement, which began around summer 2020.

A little over a year later and now the department might lost another 200 officers over Mayor Jenny Durkan’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has learned that there are just over 200 police officers who say they either have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or refuse to turn over their private medical data. This number represents roughly 20 percent of the SPD’s deployable staff.

Reportedly, under the new vaccine mandate, city workers who do not get the shots will be terminated. The SPD, already stretched thin with little support from city council or the mayor, cannot stand to lose any more officers. 

The City of Seattle is now requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, regardless of one’s age, risk factors, or prior infection. As of this writing, religious and medical exemptions are offered, but it is unclear if the city will actually accommodate those requests.

City staff must be fully vaccinated by October 18th. Some officers with the SPD do not believe the vaccine is necessary to do their job. For the last 17 months, officers have been in the field without a vaccine.

Other officers do not think the government has the right to data on private medical decisions, even if they may be vaccinated; it is simply not the government’s business.

Durkan’s mandate was subject to impact bargaining with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG). The union has reportedly been negotiating with city leaders and an agreement on terms could come soon, however, it is unclear how many of the 200 officers will be satisfied. 

Shaun Van Eyk, union representative with PROTEC17, once of the city’s largest unions and co-chair of the Coalition of City Unions, said the mandate cause him and his members by surprise. He said:

“This whole situation is a little bit of a cart before the horse situation. It’s pretty clear that there wasn’t a lot of policy or procedural development in advance of that. I think there’s an absolute risk of a mass exodus from the city.”

At least one union negotiating with the city is asking for severance packages for staff who choose to forgo vaccination. If even a small portion of the officers are terminated due to the vaccination mandate, the effect would be catastrophic. 

The SPD is already staffed at record lows not seen since the 1980s, which means proactive policing is practically non0-existent for the majority of Seattle. 

Reportedly, often times there are only about 70 percent of officers patrolling the city on any given night. In light of this, violent crime has surged across the city, which is now on pace to break the 26-year-high homicide rate set in 2020.

With just over 1,000 deployable officers, the city is about 300-500 offices shy of where they need ti be. A Durkan spokesperson said in a statement:

“We are hopeful that terminations will not be necessary and all unvaccinated employees choose to get vaccinated.”

Shortly after Durkan issued the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the president of the largest Seattle police union issued a warning. During his podcast, “Hold the Line with Mike Solan, ” Solan, president of SPOG, said:

“I can tell you right now, we could potentially have a lot of officers that could be terminated by this mandate.”

The mandate, he said, could accelerate exits from the SPD. He added:

“Our Seattle community is already experiences a Seattle Police Department staffing crisis. Given the crisis, which in part is resulting in an alarming crime wave, can Seattle now endure more losses of police officers due to Mayor Durkan’s vaccination order?”

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