New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been criticized for acting out of touch with the people that live in New York. During his last weeks in Gracie Mansion, the unpopular Democratic candidate might unknowingly handicap the struggling NYC jail Riker’s Island.
Many of the workers for the department of corrections may be fired because they missed a Tuesday deadline to either see their waiver approved or get vaccinated. The city’s department of corrections reported that 77% of its employees had received their first dose of the vaccine as of 1700ET on Monday. Meaning around 1,900 staff members have not complied with the mandate or applied for the waiver. That’s the lowest rate of any city agency,
There are existing staff shortages, because of this the timeframe for compliance was put off a month for jail workers.
Jail employees who have requested medical or religious exemptions will be allowed to continue working while their requests are reviewed. They plan to provide information on Wednesday detailing how many employees requested an exemption. They know that the number who have refused both is very high.
The workers who do not comply will be put on leave without pay and must return any city-issued firearms and badges.
On Monday Mayor de Blasio issued an emergency executive order designed to increase jail staffing by authorizing a transition from 8 hour to 12 hour shifts. The mayor is requesting the remaining employees to work more hours in a low paying and highly dangerous job because he is faced with a revolt over vaccine mandates,
The workers and their union reps are fighting back: The jail guards union president balked at the Mayor’s choice to make the change to 12-hour shifts, he called it “misguided and reckless.”
To block the mandate the union said it would sue, the NYC police union attempted the same tactic in late October when the vaccine mandate for officers came closer. The police union did not win and the mandate was implemented as planned.
Many workers are already retiring or resigning, Boscio warned. If more workers were asked to go on leave without pay it would be like “pouring gas on a fire”, Boscio said.
The jails in NYC, including the famous Rikers Island, have been full of increasing violence, deaths, and self-harm since the beginning of the pandemic. 14 deaths have been recorded in New York City jails this year, that is the greatest number since 2013.
de Blasio does not seem like he cares; he is busy with a new plan that would prohibit horse-drawn carriages and replace them with electric cars. On Monday he imposed a new mandate for vaccines for workers in child care.
Author: Steven Sinclaire
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