NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City is requiring all municipal employees to get vaccinated, eliminating the testing option for unvaccinated members of the city workforce.
Workers must get their first shot by Friday, October 29.
Starting Wednesday, city employees will receive an extra $500 in their paycheck for receiving their first shot at a City-run vaccination site. This benefit will end at 5 p.m. on the deadline day.
Employees who do not get vaccinated will be placed on unpaid leave, and their future employment will be resolved in ensuing negotiations with individual labor unions.
Correction officers will face a later deadline of December 1.
Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi will sign a Commissioner's Order today to formalize the mandate, which will immediately apply to approximately 160,500 City workers.
About 71% of employees have at least one shot, with the number shooting up to 95% in the 11 city run hospitals, and 96% in schools, where vaccinations are mandatory.
The new mandate is effective on November 1 to the entire municipal workforce, including all NYPD, FDNY, and DSNY employees.
About 69% of NYPD employees and 60% of FDNY workers are vaccinated. The PBA has previously said, "vaccine is a medical decision that members must make in consultation with their own health care providers."
"There is no greater privilege than serving the people of New York City, and that privilege comes with a responsibility to keep yourself and your community safe," Mayor de Blasio said. "We have led the way against COVID-19 - from fighting for the right to vaccinate frontline workers, to providing nation-leading incentives, to creating the Key to NYC mandate. As we continue our recovery for all of us, city workers have been a daily inspiration. Now is the time for them to show their city the path out of this pandemic once and for all."
"Vaccinations are critical to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. This mandate is a bold step that protects our families, friends, and communities, including those that are not yet eligible for the vaccine such as our City's youngest residents. It builds on our continued leadership and innovative strategies to fighting this pandemic and bring us a step closer to a recovery for all. Thank you to the dedicated City workforce for your continued service throughout this pandemic," said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog.
The city will begin impact bargaining with affected unions immediately.
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch released a statement saying, "From the beginning of the de Blasio administration's haphazard vaccine rollout, we have fought to make the vaccine available to every member who chooses it, while also protecting their right to make that personal medical decision in consultation with their own doctor. Now that the city has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we will proceed with legal action to protect our members' rights."