New York police officers have scored a big win in their fight against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate that cost some their jobs, with a New York Supreme Court justice ruling that the mandate—as it applies to members of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA)—is “invalid” and that fired cops must be given back their jobs.
Frank said in the ruling that a key reason why the mandate was illegal is because the city didn’t collectively bargain with the PBA, which represents some 24,000 members of the New York Police Department.
‘Improper Infringement’PBA President Patrick Lynch hailed the decision in a statement, calling the ruling a victory for the freedom of members to make their own medical decisions.
“This decision confirms what we have said from the start: the vaccine mandate was an improper infringement on our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own health care professionals,” Lynch said.
“We will continue to fight to protect those rights,” he added, saying that the PBA’s fight against the mandate isn’t finished, as city authorities filed an immediate notice of appeal, effectively putting the justice’s decision on ice.
The ruling was also praised by two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) union chiefs—Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro and Uniformed Fire Officers Association President James McCarthy—who said in a statement on Sept. 23 that they would fight to win back firefighters’ jobs lost for refusing to get the vaccine.
“It was only a matter of time before a common sense Judge concluded that the COVID-19 vaccination mandate was never a condition of employment,” the two union heads wrote.
The union chiefs added that they will ask Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh to reinstate FDNY members who were fired or placed on unpaid leave for refusing the jab and for the members to receive back pay.
It wasn’t immediately clear how soon the city’s appeal would be heard, with enforcement of the Manhattan Supreme Court’s decision remaining frozen for now.