August 4, 2021

Around the nation: New York teachers' union opposes vaccine mandate for state workers

Daily Briefing

    The New York State United Teachers union voiced opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) recently announced vaccine mandate for state employees, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Colorado, and New York.

    • California: Kaiser Permanente on Monday announced it is requiring all its employees and physicians to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by Sept. 30. Employees who are not vaccinated by the deadline will be required to undergo Covid-19 testing twice a week. The new policy affects more than 230,000 employees across the United States. According to Michelle Gaskill-Hames, Kaiser's SVP for hospital and health plan operations in Northern California, around 78% of the organization's employees and 95% of its physicians have already been vaccinated. (Hamann, Puget Sound Business Journal, 8/3)
    • Colorado: The city government of Denver on Monday announced that public city workers—along with some private-sector workers in high-risk settings—will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Sept. 30. High-risk settings include hospitals, shelters, schools, correctional facilities, and home health care services. While the city acknowledged masking and social distancing as important measures, it said they are "no substitute for what we need—more people must get vaccinated." Denver's vaccine mandate for its workers follows Colorado's statewide policy requiring all state employees either be vaccinated by Sept. 20 or be tested for Covid-19 twice a week. (Choi, The Hill, 8/2)
    • New York: The New York State United Teachers union—which represents more than 600,000 members in education, human services, and health care in the state—on Monday said it will not support a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for teachers, though it encourages vaccination. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) last week announced all state workers will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo regular testing, with the mandate set to go into effect by Labor Day. Cuomo said the government is working with unions across the state to implement the mandate "quickly [and] fairly. (Choi, The Hill, 8/2)

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