NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tens of thousands of city workers face unpaid leave Monday because they have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.
The total overall vaccination rate for city workers is at 91%.
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner has more on whether or not the city will face a worker shortage.
Some fire companies are already temporarily out of service, and garbage in some places has not been picked up. The question now is, was that in protest, or are those kind of cutbacks here to stay?
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Heaps of garbage on 76th Street on the Upper West Side on Sunday was a stinky sign of the delayed pickups parts of the Big Apple saw over the past week. The city says 18% of sanitation employees are not vaccinated.
In preparation for Monday’s mandate taking effect, an agency spokesperson said Thursday that sanitation workers were moved to 12-hour shifts, and they will be working Sundays as needed, as they did on Halloween. Residents are being encouraged to put materials at the curb, according to their normal collection schedule.
“It smells and like I can’t walk on the street, so obviously it does concern me,” TriBeCa resident Touseef Haidar said.
“City workers should get vaccinated and it’s always something you have to peel off the Band-Aid at some point so might as well do it tomorrow,” Chelsea resident Kumaran Vijayakumar said.
The NYPD and FDNY, which are needed 24/7 for emergencies, are also trying to fill gaps.
The latest numbers show 20% of the FDNY’s 17,000 employees are not vaccinated. For firefighters, that number is 25% and for EMS workers, it’s 13%.
“I understand a lot of firefighters aren’t working, so there’s safety issues as well. I hope they get it resolved quickly,” city resident Jon Kessler said.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the department will continue to respond to all calls for help.
Sixteen percent of police are not vaccinated, which Commissioner Dermot Shea has said would be made up for with overtime and double shifts.
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Candidates for mayor weighed in. Republican Curtis Sliwa was outside the Midtown South precinct on Sunday.
“Once I’m elected, boom. As of Jan. 2, I win, we hire back all the civil servants who were fired. Most importantly, the police and the firefighters who were there for us on 9/11,” Sliwa said.
Democratic candidate Eric Adams told WCBS 880 on Sunday he supports the mandate, but when asked about the current mayor’s insistence of it taking place Monday, he answered, “I think that the mayor should sit down with the unions and I believe they’re saying the same thing. We just have to stop yelling at each other and talk to each other.”
Among all city departments, correction officers have the lowest vaccination rate, as only 60% have received the shot. But their deadline to comply isn’t until December.