NYC unions consider legal action after City Hall's go-ahead for athletes to avoid vaccine mandate
New York Daily News March 25, 2022
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NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — City unions pondered new legal action Friday in response to Mayor Adams' decision to spare athletes and entertainers from the vaccine mandate requiring municipal workers to get a shot or lose their jobs.
Labor officials, who have already challenged the mandatory vaccines in court, were poised to amp up the fight against the firings that left nine police officers and 37 civilian NYPD employees looking for work as unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and players with the Yankees and Mets were cleared to play.
"Terminating our members based on a policy that no longer exists for most New Yorkers is both disparate treatment and counter-productive to our efforts to boost staffing levels at the city's jails," said the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association in a statement.
"We strongly urge the city to reconsider the importance of having one consistent standard, which does not hurt the hometown heroes who serve our city every single day."
Paul DiGiacomo, head of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said his union was exploring other legal actions "in addition to the two cases we are presently litigating."
A cross-section of city unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, city EMTs and paramedics in Local 2507 and the Sanitation Department, blasted Adams' decision.
The Municipal Labor Committee, representing some 102 unions and 400,000 city employees, was "looking into all legal options," according to a source.
A positive note was sounded Friday by police Lieutenants Benevolent Association head Lou Turco, who predicted Adams will lift the mandate for the city's 36,000 police officers.
"I think the mayor made a difficult choice, but the right choice, about masks at schools," said Turco, referencing City Hall's decision to lift the mask mandate for kids in city daycare centers on April 4. "And he will make the difficult choice and the right choice regarding municipal workers, and fix this inequity."
All-Star guard Irving will become the first beneficiary of the mayor's change of heart when he plays his first home game of the season this Sunday at the Barclays Center.
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