New York City Teacher’s Union Wins Battle Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

New York City’s largest teacher’s union has won a battle to keep teachers and other educators from being fired if they suffer from certain medical conditions and don’t want to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Reporting from the Epoch Times stated that an arbitrator ruled on Friday that teachers with certain documented medical conditions must be given job assignments outside of the classroom and be kept on the city’s payroll.

Other faculty who choose to not take a COVID-19 vaccine must be offered unpaid leave that keeps in place their health coverage or a severance package.

City officials announced last month that all 148,000 Department of Education employees would be forced into receving COVID-19 vaccine, with very limited exemptions.

The city also planned to take away pay from those who choose to not be vaccinated for COVID-19, angering the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the city’s largest teacher’s union.

“That was it for us,” Michael Mulgrew, the union’s president, said on NY 1 this week.

Mulgrew said that legal pushback from the union resulted in the win.

“After our demand for independent arbitration, the city backed off its initial position that all unvaccinated personnel be removed from payroll, and will offer out-of-classroom work for those with certified medical or other conditions,” he said in a statement after the arbitrator’s decision was released.

Religious exemptions under the vaccine mandate are supposed to be approved, but not if the leader of the religious group has spoken publicly in favor of the vaccine, or if the request is deemed “personal, political, or philosophical in nature.”

Such rules would likely bar millions of Americans from making any kind of claim for a religious exemption in the first place, with Pope Francis saying that taking a COVID-19 vaccine is an ‘act of love.’

The city’s vaccine mandate starts on September 27th.

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