Nearly 1,500 New York City employees were fired on Monday because they refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine or submit proof of having taken the jabs, including cops and firefighters.
City Hall confirmed that 1,430 municipal workers were terminated due to noncompliance with the city’s vaccine mandate, Politico reported.
“City workers served on the front lines during the pandemic, and by getting vaccinated, they are, once again, showing how they are willing to do the right thing to protect themselves and all New Yorkers. Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
“Out of all the new city employees who received notices two weeks ago, only two who worked last week are no longer employed by the city. I’m grateful to all the city workers who continue to serve New Yorkers and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for the greatest city in the world.”
The “noncompliant” city workers were fired in two groups: those who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine but never provided proof of a second dose, and those who were placed on leave without pay because they refused to get the shots.
Just two people were fired in the first group, and another 1,428 were fired in the second group, Politico reported. Roughly 1,000 city employees who were part of the second group chose to get the shots before the termination deadline.
Most of the individuals fired over the vaccine mandate worked for the New York City Department of Education, which lost 914 staffers.
Additionally, the New York City Housing Authority lost 101 staff members, the Department of Correction lost 75, and the Department of Sanitation lost 40. Around 30 agencies ultimately lost personnel due to the city’s vaccine mandate.
“They have not been teaching in schools, patrolling our streets, or maintaining our parks — yet they have been taking salary lines away from agencies and stopping the city from hiring individuals who are willing to do the jobs New Yorkers need them to do,” according to City Hall.
The mandate was enacted by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in October, replacing a previous policy that allowed city workers to take COVID-19 tests if they did not want to get vaccinated against the virus. The city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, kept the termination policy in place.
“Workers should not get fired. There are a lot of people who don’t believe in putting this stuff in their bodies,” argued Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, and head of the Municipal Labor Council, as reported by The New York Post.