3,700 substitute teachers needed in New York as staff refuse Covid shot

Around 5500 teachers in the city have refused to get coronavirus vaccine

Harriet Sinclair
Monday 04 October 2021 22:59 BST
Vaccine Mandate Goes Into Effect For NYC Public School Teachers
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Thousands of substitute teachers are needed in New York, following a shortage of educators after the introduction of a vaccine mandate in the city.

All teachers in New York are required to be vaccinated against coronavirus from Monday (4 October), with an email seeking additional teachers promising a financial bonus for committing to supply shifts in the coming months.

Around 5500 teachers in the city refused the coronavirus vaccine, according to the New York Post, with teachers’ unions protesting the vaccine requirement (which could see educators lose their jobs if they refuse to be inoculated against Covid-19).

According to the United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, 97 per cent of teachers are vaccinated, and there is a pool of more than 10,000 substitue teachers on hand to provide support for schools where their teacher numbers have dropped due to vaccine mandates, NY1 reported.

But an email sent on Saturday and obtained by The Post saw a callout for substitute teachers in a desperate bid to plug 3,659 gaps around the city – an average of two per school. Some of those posts appeared to be vacant from next year, but the majority were to begin in October.

The shortage of educators comes following a fight by a group of teachers in New York who had asked the Supreme Court to intervene and block the vaccine requirement. However on Friday Justice Sonia Sotomayor declined to weigh-in on the issue on Friday – effectively upholding the state’s vaccine mandate.

“Our vaccine requirement for NYC school staff has now been reviewed in state courts, federal courts, and the Supreme Court and upheld,” New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said, USA today reported. “Vaccination will keep students and staff safer.”

The city’s department of education now requires all of its employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus, which has killed more than 55,000 in the state and over 700,000 people in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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