Greater than 2,000 New York Metropolis firefighters have taken sick days over the previous week in what metropolis officers describe as a large-scale protest in opposition to town’s Covid vaccine mandate for municipal staff, which matches into impact Monday.
“Irresponsible bogus sick go away by a few of our members is making a hazard for New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters,” the hearth commissioner, Daniel A. Nigro, mentioned in a press release. He attributed the uptick in sick go away to “anger on the vaccine mandate.”
The Fireplace Division’s deputy commissioner for public data, Frank Dwyer, mentioned that greater than 2,000 Fireplace Division personnel had been out on medical go away sooner or later over the previous week, out of a complete uniformed pressure of about 11,000.
The personnel scarcity has put a pressure on Fireplace Division operations. The division mentioned that every one its firehouses stay open, however sustaining protection throughout town has required shuffling personnel round to reconstitute fireplace firms.
The president of the Uniformed Firefighters Affiliation, the union that represents rank-and-file firefighters, mentioned there was no organized sickout. However lots of of firefighters have been feeling the unwanted effects of vaccine doses and have been too unwell to work, the U.F.A. president, Andrew Ansbro, mentioned in a cellphone interview Sunday morning. “Lots of of men are feeling flu-like signs, as a result of that’s what the shot does to folks,” Mr. Ansbro mentioned.
When the vaccine mandate goes into impact Monday, unvaccinated municipal staff with out a non secular or medical exemption can be positioned on unpaid go away. It’s unclear how the discount within the metropolis’s work pressure will have an effect on providers starting from rubbish pickup to ambulance wait instances.
By Saturday, some 91 % of municipal staff had gotten a minimum of one shot, leaving simply over 24,000 nonetheless unvaccinated.
Within the week and a half since Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced the mandate, greater than 22,000 municipal staff have gotten their first shot and vaccination charges have climbed markedly in lots of metropolis companies. Most metropolis companies now have vaccination charges of 90 % or above. However a couple of are notably decrease. The Sanitation Division was at 79 % and the Fireplace Division was at 73 %. On the Division of Correction, solely 60 % of staff have been vaccinated, though correction officers have an additional month to get vaccinated earlier than the mandate goes into impact.
The New York Police Division has an 84 % vaccination fee. A small variety of NYPD staff trickled into headquarters on Sunday to file retirement papers forward of the mandate. By 1 p.m., officers counted eight officers who had put of their retirement papers.