Saturday, September 3, 2022

FDNY union bosses deny sickout over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

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FDNY labor leaders said firefighters have not been calling out sick in an organized protest against the city’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for government workers.

Widespread staffing shortages forced the department to close 26 fire companies in the five boroughs Saturday, elected officials said — and one insider told The Post “hundreds” of firefighters upset over the mandate were using medical leave.

Union leaders threw water on those accusations and denied being part of a widespread plan.

“Is there a sickout? Not to my knowledge, no,” said Andrew Ansbro, FDNY Firefighters Association President, according to WABC.

“We don’t condone any job action, nor do we inform anybody to do a job action,” Jim McCarthy, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association reportedly said.

“I have had members that have received the vaccination say they are having flu like symptoms and they’ve had to go sick,” Ansbro said, according to the affiliate. “The department is allowing people to have a couple days off after they get the vaccination.”

Commissioner Daniel Nigro condemned the sick leave as “unacceptable” in a statement released on Friday.
Commissioner Daniel Nigro condemned the sick leave as “unacceptable” in a statement released on Friday.
REUTERS

The denials fly in the face of a Friday statement from Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

“The excessive sick leave by a group of our Firefighters because of their anger at the vaccine mandate for all city employees is unacceptable, contrary to their oaths to serve, and may endanger the lives of New Yorkers,” he said.

“Despite these actions by some, the Department will continue to respond to all calls for help that come our way.”

City workers who have not gotten at least one dose of the vaccine will be put on unpaid leave on Monday.

More than one in four firefighters had not yet been jabbed by Friday’s deadline, as the department lagged behind the NYPD and DSNY in compliance, according to city data.

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