A Manhattan Supreme Court judge temporarily blocked the city government’s vaccine mandate for Department of Education (DOE) employees Tuesday evening, handing a victory to the major municipal unions who challenged Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order.
Judge Laurence L. Love suspended the vaccine mandate until September 22nd, ruling that the city is “temporarily restrained from implementing” the mandate. Per de Blasio’s edict, DOE staffers are required to receive at least one shot by September 27 as a condition of employment.
Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37, NYC’s largest municipal employees union and a petitioner in the lawsuit said the court’s ruling was encouraging but recognized that more legal battles were to come.
“While we do believe our members should get the vaccine, we do not believe it should be a condition of employment,” he said in a statement obtained by the New York Post. “Clearly, the courts agree. The fight is not over, but we are energized by this decision and ready to keep going on behalf of our members.”
However, a City Hall spokesperson confirmed that the ruling doesn’t change anything substantive about the mandate’s timeline or terms, adding that it will still be enacted as scheduled in couple of weeks.
“New York City’s education worker vaccine mandate, which has been embraced by the White House, goes into effect on September 27. The court’s action today expires on September 22,” the spokesperson told the Post.
In addition to the NYC municipal unions, a group of small businesses announced litigation against the city last month, protesting the mandate that requires customers of restaurants, gyms and other indoor public venues to present proof of vaccination to enter. The employees of those establishments also must be inoculated or risk termination.
“The executive order has rendered it impossible for anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated, for whatever reason, to work in the designated industries, wholly depriving them of their livelihood,” the lawsuit read.
An organization called Teachers for Choice held a protest against the vaccine mandate in downtown Manhattan over the weekend.