Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
UPDATE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Monday was supposed to be the deadline for New York City school employees to get vaccinated, but that's not the case anymore after a judge temporarily blocked the mandate.
The Department of Education's vaccine mandate is now in limbo, just days before it was supposed to take effect.
Come Monday, all teachers and DOE employees were required to have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine or they'd lose their jobs, but Friday night, that all changed when a federal court of appeals judge granted a temporary injunction against the mandate.
The new case was filed by a group of teachers and is at least the second lawsuit against the city's order.
It also overrules a previous decision by a judge last week that lifted a temporary pause on the mandate.
Saturday, the city reacted to the injunction.
The DOE released a statement, saying in part, "We're confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve."
A spokesperson added late Saturday the department is up about 5,000 new vaccinations since Friday. Currently, at least 85% of all employees have had the shot.
Meanwhile, the unions for New York City principals and teachers are also reacting.
Saturday, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators said it was monitoring the court's review of the case.
The United Federation of Teachers released the following statement:
"While we still await a ruling in a separate state court review of the city's vaccine mandate, the federal court ruling gives the Mayor and city Department of Education more time to put together a real plan for dealing with the expected staff vacancies the mandate would create. We hope they take advantage of this opportunity."
The unions have previously said while they encourage vaccinations, they should not be a condition of employment.
The groups warned that if the mandate went through as is, it could leave the school system short of as many as 10,000 teachers and other workers.
The mayor says if that were to happen, the city has thousands of replacement teachers ready to step in.
As for this temporary injunction, it will be reviewed by a panel of three judges on Wednesday.
The lawyer representing the teachers in the lawsuit is also reacting, saying in part, "Their concern for the safety and long term consequences of this new vaccine is valid and sincere. Nobody's livelihood should be jeopardized in this manner by government."
CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report. Editor's note: This story was first published Sept. 25.
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