Some 1,430 New York City workers are out of a job after being fired by Mayor Eric Adams for failing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Cop Mayor Adams, who spent 20 years on the New York City Police Department before entering politics, fired the government workers on Feb. 14. Among the axed workers are 36 NYPD personnel, 25 fire department workers, and 914 Department of Education staffers.
NYC employees had until Feb. 11 to get the vaccine jab according to a vaccine mandate deadline set by former Mayor Bill de Blasio. About 400,000 residents work for the city’s government agencies.
According to Adams, the workers aren’t being fired technically. “They’re quitting” because they had been given a choice to get vaccinated, he said in an interview with NY1.
“They’re quitting. I’m not terminating; they’re quitting,” he said. “We don’t want to terminate anyone — we want people to be vaccinated and employed so that our economy can continue to open — and the fastest way to get that open is for us to have a safe environment.”
New York City issued one of the strictest mandates after being at the epicenter of the initial outbreak. New York state has had 65,943 covid deaths to date with 39,324 deaths in NYC alone due to covid, according to New York Times data.
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Some Twitter users approved of the firings. Others noted that the vaccine did not stop transmission of the omicron strain, though health offices said being vaccinated reduces the chances of severe medical complications or death due to the virus.
“I like to think if it as getting rid of public servants that aren’t acting in the interest of the public. The vaccine does prevent transmission though, since I suspect you’re going there,” Carbon Based Eukaryote (@carbonbaby) replied in a tweet.
“Makes little sense if it’s for the purpose of stopping the spread,” tweeted Derek W (@DerekWeston27).
“Adams will use these firings as a way to prove he brought efficiency to NYC government by not refilling any of the positions,” tweeted Andrea Vaghy (@abentonnyola).
“How can you argue with that though? The city will be safer, and we don’t have to pay people that aren’t really interested in public well-being. Win-win,” Carbon Based Eukaryote (@carbonbaby) replied in a tweet.
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Adams praised workers who chose to be vaccinated.
“City workers served on the frontlines 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,” the mayor said in a statement.
“Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them.”
But some union leaders are upset at the firings.
“Workers should not get fired. There are a lot of people who don’t believe in putting this stuff in their bodies,” said Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association and head of the Municipal Labor Council, according to The New York Post.
Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 2/11/22 New York City Mayor Eric Adams hold a press conference at City Hall to announce raises for essential workers on February 11, 2022 in New York.