De Blasio loses to UFT, must allow teachers exemptions to vaccinations

In a major blow to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for teachers, an arbitrator has ruled the city needs to provide accommodations to staff with medical conditions or religious beliefs that preclude them from getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

The decision, coming late Friday, just days before the start of the new school year, says public school teachers who refused to get inoculated against COVID-19 have to be offered unpaid leave or a severance package.

“As a group, teachers have overwhelmingly supported the vaccine, but we have members with medical conditions or other reasons for declining vaccination,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew,

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