An internal memo circulating through the NYPD outlines how the department will enforce a new mandate requiring police department employees to either get vaccinated or be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing.
The new requirement comes as the NYPD is struggling to get its employees vaccinated. Data from late last month shows less than half, about 48%, of its 35,000 uniformed officers and 18,000 civilian employees are vaccinated.
All testing must be done outside of working hours.
Anyone who refuses to get vaccinated or provide proof of a COVID-19 test will not be allowed to work and will not be paid.
In response, the Police Benevolent Association sent out a memo to its members saying it plans to fight the mandate.
"In the PBA's view, any testing mandated by the Department must be conducted on job time and at the city's expense, and any test received outside of the MOS's regular working hours should be subject to overtime compensation," the union said in a memo to its members. "Accordingly, the PBA will immediately pursue an improper practice petition and/or grievance with the Board of Collective Bargaining.
Sources say the Detectives’ Endowment Association also sent an email to members saying it is preparing to file an Improper Practice Petition before the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining to prevent the NYPD from implementing what it believes to be an illegal mandate.
"It is the position of the DEA that this new mandate constitutes a violation of the New York City Bargaining Law, given the unilateral implementation of this new plan impinges upon a number of mandatory subjects of bargaining, specifically: overtime; use of accrued leave (e/g/ comp time, personal days, etc.); and Departmental policies/procedures related to non-mandatory subjects of negotiations," the DEA said in the email.
The vaccine or test plan falls in line with Mayor de Blasio’s executive order that is requiring all city workers — more than 300,000 — to get the vaccine or get tested weekly. There is no testing option for some city workers — including Department of Education teachers — who are mandated to get vaccinated.
The timeline for all of this is Monday, which coincides with the first day of reopening for city public schools.
"Since vaccines became available we have encouraged our employees, especially those who have contact with the public, to get vaccinated," DCPI spokesman Sgt. Edward Riley said in a statement. "We continue to make vaccinations available at multiple times and at multiple locations to ensure that as many of our employees as possible get the vaccination.