Adams says municipal workers hoping for reprieve from vaccination mandate have to make a decision
Mayor Adams had a clear message Thursday for municipal workers hoping for a reprieve from the city’s vaccination mandate: get vaxxed or get lost.
With Friday’s deadline to get vaccinated looming for approximately 4,000 city workers, Adams was asked Thursday if he might reconsider the mandate.
His answer in short: Nope.
“We’re not firing them. People are quitting,” he said. “The responsibility is clear. We said it: if you’re hired, if you get this job, you have to be vaccinated. If you are not following the rules, you are making that decision.”
Adams’ comments come a day before the deadline for thousands of city workers to provide proof that they have been inoculated for COVID.
But not all city workers are up against the same deadline.
There are two categories of employees who’ll potentially be impacted by Friday’s deadline: workers on unpaid leave who opted against receiving city-provided health benefits since the city’s vaccine mandate took effect on Nov. 1 and workers hired after Aug. 2 who haven’t presented proof of a second vaccination shot.
Many of the employees who fall into those categories are cops, firefighters and correction officers.
“I want them to stay. I want them to be employees of the city, but they have to follow the rules that were put in place before my administration,” he said of the mandate enacted by his predecessor, Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I would do a disservice to those who follow the rules if we don’t have a clear direction.”
Adams contended that changing course now would set a bad precedent — that when the next COVID variant hits, doing so would only cause more confusion moving forward.
“We have to be very clear. People must be vaccinated if they are New York City employees,” he said. “Everyone understood that, and we have to follow that.”