The union representing the town’s correction officers sued Metropolis Corridor on Wednesday in hopes of halting the “draconian vaccine mandate” that has exacerbated the company’s staffing disaster.
A whole bunch of officers who refused to get the jab by final week’s deadline have been despatched dwelling — and the swimsuit additionally seeks to undo the town’s order requiring officers to work 60-hour weeks so as to assist make up for the misplaced manpower.
“This follow is treating us like slave labor and it’ll solely end in officers getting sick or injured by assaultive inmates, who feed on their vulnerabilities,” Correction Officers Benevolent Affiliation president Benny Boscio Jr. stated of the coverage mandating the elevated workload.
Whereas most municipal employees had till Oct. 29 to get vaccinated, de Blasio gave uniformed corrections officers till Dec. 1 to obtain their first jab due to the continuing staffing scarcity on the troubled Rikers Island jail complicated.
“Regardless of that delay, the continuing staffing disaster at Rikers Island has not been resolved,” says the swimsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Courtroom.
“On no account is the twelve-hour and 5 appearances per week a sustainable answer to the staffing disaster. With out the arbitrary, capricious, and ill-timed vaccine mandate, it could not even be a crucial short-term measure,” the swimsuit argues.
As of final Thursday, over 500 correction officers had been positioned on unpaid depart for refusing the vaccine.
One other 9% of DOC uniformed employees who’ve utilized for medical or spiritual exemptions had been persevering with to report back to work as the town evaluations their circumstances.
As an alternative of the vaccine requirement, the union is looking for a return to a vaccine or take a look at choice for its employees — an earlier coverage that was imposed by Mayor Invoice de Blasio final August.
“We now have already misplaced 1,400 officers since 2019 as a consequence of resignations and retirements and this inhumane follow will solely additional drive officers out the door,” Boscio stated in a press release.
In response to the swimsuit, a spokesman with the town Legislation Division stated: “The Metropolis is grateful for each officer who has gotten vaccinated. We’re assured the mandate and the 12 hour shifts can be upheld by the courtroom.”