NYC teachers union, city at impasse over vaccine mandate for medical and religious exemptions
Negotiations have stalled between New York City’s teachers union and City Hall over a vaccination mandate for school staffers, pushing union leaders to file a formal complaint with the state.
The city has refused to pay teachers who have a legitimate medical or religious reason not to take the shot, according to the complaint filed by the United Federation of Teachers, or UFT, with the Public Employment Relations Board.
The board would serve as a mediator on the matter for a session scheduled Thursday evening between the city and the union, said Michael Mulgrew, president of the teachers union, who expects an update on Monday. If there is still no agreement, the issue will go to arbitration, he said.
Mulgrew said he doesn’t expect there will be many religious exemptions among his members since major religious leaders approve of the COVID vaccine. But he was more alarmed that the city is refusing to pay those who cannot take the vaccine. However, he did not know how many of his members would need such exemptions, and the nature of those exemptions have not yet been defined in bargaining sessions with the city.
Experts believe the list of people in need of a medical vaccine accommodation is small, NBC News reported. No one with a previous serious allergic reaction to components in the vaccine should take it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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