In a surprising turn of events, multiple labor unions are pushing back against the idea of vaccine mandates.
New York State United Teachers – a union with over 600,000 members – said in a statement this week that it is against proposals to make vaccines a mandatory condition of employment, according to Just the News.
“We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one,” the group said. “We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis.”
“But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate,” the group added.
The United Federation of Teachers also indicated an opposition to a mandate.
“This approach puts the emphasis on vaccination but still allows for personal choice and provides additional safeguards through regular testing,” the union said in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio allowing New York City employees to face weekly testing if they choose not to receive the vaccine.
“Mandating vaccination is not, nor will ever be, the answer,” George Gresha, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said this week.
Similarly, Henry Garrido, executive director of AFSCME’s District 37 in New York City said the union is “absolutely against an absolute mandate to vaccinate everyone.”