On the first day that New York City began fulfilling its mandate for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for its workforce of more than 370,000 people, including police and firefighters, around 9,000 municipal workers who have refused to inject were suspended from their work and without salary.
This Monday, with these numbers in hand, the municipal authorities came out with the rumors, such as a series of versions about the collapse of some services by the impact of sick leave.
“No fire service is closed. The cleaning crews operate normally. There are many lies and misinformation, “reacted Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In general, the City’s figures suggest that the 91% of the mass of employees which handles the strings of essential and vital services for the Big Apple, had already received at least one dose of the drugs.
The Mayor explained that less than 6% of municipal employees are of “Vacation without pay.”
“We are hopeful that they will do the right thing soon for themselves, their families and their city and get vaccinated. We have taken very seriously our obligation to protect every New Yorker against the coronavirus ”, outlined the president in the middle of a pressure ‘storm’ of those who still oppose his policy.
The Mayor’s Office is allowing large numbers of unvaccinated employees to continue working while considering thousands of requests for exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
Can NYC handle all emergencies?
Almost all city workers in New York City had until 5 p.m. last Friday to get immunized, yet those who got vaccinated over the weekend got immunized. allowed to join his work.
During the last hours, various information about the closure of fire stations in the five counties due to staff shortages, which was denied by both the authorities and the union itself.
Indeed, personnel problems were confirmed in 18 companies, but it was ruled out that any fire unit is completely inoperative for attend emergencies.
In this regard, the commissioner of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Daniel Nigro, He said that he could not say how many fire companies did not have enough personnel this Monday morning, because the reality “Change minute by minute”But he urged firefighters to stop misusing sick leave and report to work.
“There are units with little staff. This could end immediately if the members stopped getting sick, when in they are not really sickNigro reacted.
More of 2,000 firefighters have been on medical leave in the last week. 55% of them are not vaccinated.
Spokesmen for the union representing the FDNY also continued to “open fire” against the municipal mandate, denying that “for now” that emergency body have faults to face any call.
The latest figures show that the 19% of the FDNY’s 17,000 total workforce she is not vaccinated. Among them, 23% of firefighters and 12% of emergency medical technicians are without immunization.
However, the union confirmed that resources and inoculated payroll are redistributed so that there is no need to close no fire station.
Some might have to work 80 hours a week to make up for those who are absent.
“They are pointing the finger at our firefighters who decided not to get vaccinated. Some of those up front fulfilling their oath for the city, they didn’t want the vaccine eitherBut they had to comply because they couldn’t live without the paycheck. We try to negotiate more deadlines, but it was impossible”, reacted Andrew Ansbro, leader of the Firefighters Association.
Yes there are problems with the garbage
As of Sunday night, vaccination rates were 84% for New York City Police Department (NYPD) personnel, the 82% for him Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and 80% for the FDNY.
But beyond the network of statistics and official versions, on police, firefighting or emergency operations, there is a fact that Yes it was palpable and easy to smell this Monday on some streets of the Big Apple: the garbage collection service in many parts of the city it continued in a very irregular way.
“I do not know why, but since last Thursday the truck did not come. It happened this morning and took half of the waste “, he counted Dominican Ramón González who works for a building near Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.
At the exit of the Subway station at 161 Street in that county, an unusual pile of trash in the morning hours was part of the ‘landscape’. An image that it was repeated in all five boroughs.
“Not that New York is a clean city, but in the last week has been worse, at least around here ”, he said Celtic Lorena a resident of Walton Street in Salsa County.
Since last week, DSNY spokespersons recognized a certain slowness in the waste collection and recycling schedules, while announcing the reopening of an investigation to determine if it was a “Intentional slowness” of employees who refuse to get vaccinated.
The agency with the largest garbage collection force in the country, which processes about 12,000 tons of waste per day, recommended that residents leave their waste on the sidewalks as stipulated by their regular hours.
It was known that some workers were transferred to shifts even 12 hours and they will be paid extra for their work on Sundays, as needed.
NYPD: 6,500 officers on hold
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea took stock: Only 34 police officers and 40 members, representing less than 0.15 percent of NYPD employees, failed to meet Mayor De Blasio’s mandate that the majority of law enforcement workers city received their first “puncture” before this Monday.
According to information revealed by local media, in the Uniformada 6,500 officers had requested exemptions and they can stay at work as long as they continue with the weekly tests.
“We hope that as these cases are reviewed, the people will choose to get vaccinated“Commented the top police chief.
An order still in dispute
Municipal sources explained to The newspaper that the vaccination mandate had worked “without major trauma” in this first phase, as happened with health and education workers.
“We are sure that most of the 9,000 workers They will amend this week their error in attending to the disinformation campaigns that made them reject the vaccine. They will be welcome to their posts “, the spokesperson pointed out.
The vaccine mandate for City workers, one of the first in the entire country, comes into effect precisely a day before the elections, when the municipal authorities of the Big Apple will be renewed.
In the streets this policy meets with different opinions. The islander Luis Melo, 43 years old Living in New York City, like many, he questions the threat of layoffs to workers who have so far opposed the new drugs.
“Everyone should be vaccinated, because I think we are already clear that Those vaccines don’t kill anyone on the contrary, they save lives. But it is highly exaggerated that they take measures such as removing from their posts those who do not. We have to look for other means ”, considered Luis who prepares to participate in the elections of this Tuesday.
On the contrary, the Puerto Rican Javier Valiente, 60 years old and resident of Harlem was more blunt: “Get everyone fired! It is not possible that the City paid $ 500 to their workers to change their opinion about the vaccine. If I assume that something is risky for my health. And he’s going to kill me, even if they pay me, I don’t do it ”, concluded the health worker.
In detail: The effect of the mandate
- 91% of 378,000 employees of the City had complied with the immunization mandate until this Monday.
- 84% of the 36,000 officers and 19,000 NYPD civilian employees have received at least one dose of COVID-19 drugs, up from 70% that was injected prior to Oct. 20, the day the Mayor’s Office announced the mandate.
- 81% of FDNY members are now vaccinated, a figure that is divided into 77% of firefighters (compared to 58% on October 20), 88% of EMTs (compared to 61% on October 20) and 91% of civil employees.
- 83% is the inoculate rate in the Department of Sanitation. 12 days ago, only 62% had been injected.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.