In official numbers released by the Mayor’s office on Monday, New York City fired more than 1,000 workers who failed to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
A whopping total of 1,430 workers lost their jobs and were sent termination letters to, for missing the deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The total number of workers fired represents less than 1% of the 370,000-person city workforce and is far fewer terminations than what was expected.
The city sent notices in late January to up to 4,000 workers, saying they had to show proof they got at least two doses of the vaccine or else they’d lose their jobs. Three-quarters of those workers had already been on leave without pay for months, having missed an earlier deadline for getting vaccinated in order to stay on the job. Mayor Eric Adams’ office said hundreds of workers produced proof of their vaccines or got the shots after being notified they would be fired.
As it stands, of the 1,430 fired workers, about 64% worked for the city’s education department. The United Federation of Teachers, the public school teachers’ union, said last week that about 700 of its members had been given notice they would be fired. The union joined with others to sue to block the firings, but a judge ruled in favor of the city on Thursday.
The United Federation of Teachers had struck a deal with the city to allow its members to choose to stay on unpaid leave until September 5. But about 700 members opted not to extend their leave or provide proof of vaccine. The union contended that the workers deserved due process that involved a hearing before being fired.