NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new deal gives thousands of New York City municipal workers until Friday to request an exemption to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID vaccine mandate.

The firefighters union is among the holdouts negotiating for a later deadline.

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Time is of the essence for for 75,000 city workers after the mayor struck a deal with four labor unions, including the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

“We’re telling our members, prepare the paperwork. Whether or not we sign this, put it in, and we’ll see where it takes us,” UFA President Andrew Ansboro said Thursday afternoon.

The agreement to extend the deadline to Friday also allows some workers to be paid while their cases are pending.


Meanwhile, a new federal rule will soon require employees at businesses with more than 100 workers to get a COVID shot or face weekly testing. Unvaccinated workers will also be required to wear masks.

The mandate is expected to impact 84 million employees across the country when it takes effect January 4.

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“Policies are consistent across the board, so people are not able to say, ‘Well my boss is requiring this, and your boss is requiring that.’ This gives it a level of certainty that I think it going to encourage more people to get vaccinated,” Partnership for NYC President Kathryn Wylde told CBS2.


Companies that don’t comply could be fined $14,000 per violation. The National Retail Federation argues the requirement will burden companies amid a worker shortage.

“With the complexity of this rule, it’s going to have some impact on the holiday season,” said Ed Egee, Vice President of Government Relations & Workforce Development.

Come Monday, schools across New York City will be vaccinating kids ages 5 to 11 with a smaller dose of the Pfizer shot.

City health officials say it could prevent 38,000 cases of COVID if every young child gets vaccinated.

“If you have an 11-year-old, don’t wait until they’re 12. Vaccinate now. This vaccine will give them sufficient immunity,” Dr. Judith Flores, of the New York City Test and Trace Corps, said. “You don’t want to wait and take the chance that they will be exposed.”

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As for city workers, 92% of them, excluding the Department of Correction, are currently vaccinated.

John Dias