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NYC teachers union vows to fight city plan to remove 15,000 unvaccinated teachers from payroll 

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Teachers in New York City are battling Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID vaccine mandate, which will remove all unvaccinated educators from the district’s payroll by the end of this month.

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which represents the city’s educators, has said it is seeking arbitration to challenge the order.

However, UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the: New York Post impact negotiations with city leaders have “gone to a really bad place.”

“Obviously, the two sides are very, very far apart when it comes to this vaccine mandate,” he said.

According to the mayor’s mandate, announced about two weeks ago, every employee of the education department must receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by September 27. It also does not allow religious or medical exemptions.

The mandate will leave nearly 15,000 unvaccinated educators unemployed and without health coverage.

The United Federation of Teachers is working to fight New York City’s vaccine mandate, which will remove all unvaccinated educators from the district’s payroll by the end of this month (Pictured: Masked students at Simon Baruch School in Manhattan on Aug. 5)

Mulgrew, who has actively encouraged district employees to get the COVID shot, says the city is “unreasonably rigid” with its policies.

He believes that educators with legitimate medical concerns should not be punished because of their health.

“The city’s stance is to take them off the payroll.” he said.

“That’s disgusting to me. And it doesn’t follow the law. The law says that these adjustments and exemptions must be in place.’

In addition, Mulgrew notes that unvaccinated educators will also be stripped of their district-sponsored health insurance.

De Blasio, who announced the mandate last month, argued that the mandate is needed to help the city slow the spread of the hyper-infectious Delta variant.

“We know this will help make sure everyone is safe,” he said when announcing the mandate, when only 63 percent of education staff had been vaccinated.

The mandate requires every DOE employee to receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by September 27.  It also doesn't allow religious or medical exemptions (Pictured: Teacher at NYC's Yung Wing School preparing her classroom for Sept. 2).

The mandate requires every DOE employee to receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by September 27. It also doesn’t allow religious or medical exemptions (Pictured: Teacher at NYC’s Yung Wing School preparing her classroom for Sept. 2).

UFT president Michael Mulgrew (pictured) says they are working to fight against order, but negotiations on impact with city leaders have 'gone a very bad place'

DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson (pictured) said the city continues to negotiate with the union, but emphasized that the mandate is in place to protect the entire academic community.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew (left) says they are working to fight the order, but negotiations on the impact with city leaders have “gone to a very bad place.” DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson (right) said the city continues to negotiate with the union, but emphasized that the mandate is in place to protect the entire academic community.

By Thursday, an estimated 80 percent of UFT members had received at least one dose of the coronavirus shot — the highest percentage among city workers, the Staten Island Advance reported.

“We are clearly true believers in this vaccine. We’ve done the best job getting people vaccinated,” Mulgrew said.

Mulgrew has focused his commentary on unvaccinated individuals with religious and medical adaptations.

However, he says the policy is still under negotiation for educators who do not qualify for either exemption but continue to refuse the vaccine.

Education Department spokeswoman Danielle Filson told the Post that they are continuing to negotiate with the union, but stressed that the mandate is in place to protect the entire academic community.

By Thursday, an estimated 80 percent of UFT members had received at least one dose of the coronavirus shot — the highest rate among city workers (Pictured: An empty classroom at NYC's Yung Wing School on Sept. 2).

By Thursday, an estimated 80 percent of UFT members had received at least one dose of the coronavirus shot — the highest rate among city workers (Pictured: An empty classroom at NYC’s Yung Wing School on Sept. 2).

Mulgrew, who has actively encouraged district employees to get the COVID shot, says the city is

Mulgrew, who has actively encouraged district employees to get the COVID shot, says the city is “unreasonably rigid” with its policies. He believes that educators with legitimate medical concerns should not be punished for their health

“The health and safety of children in New York City and the protection of our employees are at the heart of the vaccine mandate,” Filson said.

“We will continue to negotiate with the UFT to reach a successful agreement as it is best for our school communities.”

The New York Vaccine Directive followed similar mandates for teachers in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Neighboring New Jersey also announced a vaccine mandate, but would allow unvaccinated teachers if they agree to test once a week. Likewise, all government agencies, public colleges, and universities in the Garden State have the same mandate.

Neither union nor district leaders immediately responded to MailOnline’s request for comment.

The move comes as New York City has seen an increase in COVID cases over the past three months, due in part to the Delta variant.

NYC Health Department data outlining the daily averages for the past 7 and 28 days indicate a decrease in the total number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

City data also shows an increase in vaccinations among city residents.

58.8 percent of New York City residents have been fully vaccinated, while 65.4 percent have received at least one dose of the COVID shot.

New York City has seen an increase in COVID cases over the past three months, due in part to the Delta variant (data as of Sept. 3).

New York City has seen an increase in COVID cases over the past three months, due in part to the Delta variant (data as of Sept. 3).

COVID cases across New York City from March 1 to September 1

COVID cases across New York City from March 1 to September 1

Daily averages for the last 7 and 28 days indicate a decrease in the total number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths (data as of September 3).

Daily averages for the last 7 and 28 days indicate a decrease in the total number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths (data as of September 3).

City data also shows an increase in vaccinations among city residents (data as of September 3)

City data also shows an increase in vaccinations among city residents (data as of September 3)

58.8 percent of residents have been fully vaccinated, while 65.4 percent have received at least one dose of the COVID shot

58.8 percent of residents have been fully vaccinated, while 65.4 percent have received at least one dose of the COVID shot

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