New York teachers union opposed to Cuomo suggestion of COVID-19 vaccine mandates

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The teachers union that represents more than 60,000 current and retired educators across New York reiterated its opposition Monday to COVID-19 vaccine mandates after Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraged school districts to require the doses.

The New York State United Teachers released a statement following Cuomo’s COVID-19 briefing in which he said teachers in the state should be required to get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing if they are in an area defined as high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“I think they should say that today to the teachers in this current situation,” he said. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses the wearing of masks as he speaks at a news conference, in New York, in this May 27, 2021 file photo.
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool, File)

The union said it has advocated easy access to vaccines for teachers but stopped short of endorsing a mandatory vaccine requirement. 

“We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis,” the union said. “But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate.”

Fox News has reached out to the union and Cuomo’s office. 

Last week, Cuomo announced that state employees will be required to get vaccinated by Labor Day or get weekly COVID-19 tests. The mandate comes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in New York and other states.  

On Monday, he also repeated calls for private businesses to require vaccinations 

“I believe it’s in your business interest to run a vaccine-only establishment,” he said. 

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