New York City’s major municipal unions scored a legal win Tuesday night when a Manhattan Supreme Court judge temporarily blocked City Hall’s vaccine mandate for Department of Education workers.
Judge Laurence L. Love issued the temporary restraining order in response to a lawsuit brought against the city by a slew of major municipal unions who oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s directive.
The judge set a Sept. 22 court date for the unions to argue against the mandate.
Until then, Love ruled the city is “temporarily restrained from implementing” the mandate, which requires all DOE staffers to have at least one vaccine dose by Sept. 27 or else face termination.
Henry Garrido, as Executive Director of District Council 37, one of the petitioners in the suit, hailed Tuesday’s decision.
“While we do believe our members should get the vaccine, we do not believe it should be a condition of employment,” Garrido said in a statement.
“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.”
But a City Hall spokesperson downplayed the significance of the decision, saying that based on the ruling there “is no delay” in the mandate’s implementation.
“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 said.
Last week, a city arbitrator ruled that DOE workers may apply for medical or religious exemptions.
Tuesday’s decision also comes on the heels of a similar ruling earlier in the day, when a federal judge granted state healthcare workers a temporary reprieve from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.