The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) union told local media on Friday that about 70 of its members are being accused of using falsified vaccine cards and were told they would be placed on unpaid leave.
The UFT general counsel, Beth Norton, decried the allegations saying that “it is wholly improper for the [Department of Education] to unilaterally remove UFT members from the payroll based on mere conjecture that vaccination documentation is fraudulent,” according to a letter that was sent to the Department of Education.
During a news conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressed the controversy. Allegations about fake vaccine cards are under investigation, he said.
“I’m really disappointed to learn that there were fake vaccination cards,” Adams, a Democrat, said in response to a question about the incident. “Not only is that illegal, it undermines our entire trust. So my understanding is it’s being investigated, and we’re going to see the outcome of the investigation.”
Former Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school staff and other city employees in the fall of 2021, triggering several legal challenges.
The Department of Education did not give an exact number for how many teachers and school staff were placed on leave.
“Fraudulent vaccination cards are not only illegal, they also undermine the best line of protection our schools have against COVID-19—universal adult vaccination,” said Nathaniel Styer, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, according to the New York Post.
“We immediately moved to put these employees—fewer than 100—on leave without pay,” he said Thursday.
Michael Kane, who heads Teachers for Choice—a group that opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandates—said that such regulations cause people to “get desperate.”
“It’s not surprising when people’s entires lives are threatened that they get desperate,” he told the New York Post. “It’s a shame that these individuals’ names aren’t Kyrie Irving or someone else who’s in a more powerful position, because it really seems like these mandates are turning into a class war,” he continued, referring to Adams’ recent exemption for unvaccinated professional athletes and performers.
About two months ago, approximately 1,430 New York City workers who did not comply with the city’s mandate were fired, according to the mayor’s office. About 64 percent of those employees worked for the city’s education department.
The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Education for comment.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.