Coronavirus Update NYC: Teachers survey slams schools' COVID policy

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 24, 2021
Teachers survey slams schools' COVID policy
98% of UFT members said they believe neither the mayor nor the Department of Education have a proper safety plan.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A new internal survey among members of New York City's biggest teachers union suggests a big "no confidence" vote for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his public school COVID policies.

The poll, of members in the United Federation of Teachers poll, were a resounding rejection of the steps taken by the mayor.

Among the results:

-- 92% of responding teachers say students are not able to maintain a 3-foot distance throughout the day.

--89% say students are not following the mask protocol all day.

--86% said kids are not 3 feet apart during lunch periods.

--98% said the mayor has no clue what is happening inside schools.

--98% said they believe neither the mayor nor the Department of Education have a proper safety plan.

The Department of Education, however, contested the results of the survey.

"This is not an accurate survey," the DOE said in a statement. "Our hard-working staff and students are adhering to the multi-layered, CDC protocols to help keep each other safe, and we're grateful for their commitment and service."

UFT President Michael Mulgrew, however, dismissed that claim.

"So the people who work in the schools with students are wrong, and the people who hold press conferences are right?" he said. "We stand by what our educators are saying."

Teachers have until Monday to get vaccinated, after a judge lifted a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit brought by city unions against the city vaccine mandate.

Judge Laurence Love sided with New York City, finding municipal unions "will be unable to establish a likelihood of ultimate success on the merits."

A final decision will be made in the coming days, but the judge indicated that the city's mandate, which takes effect Monday, will stand.

The UFT estimates about 90% of its teachers have already received a shot.

"We do not see non-compliance, we see very high levels of compliance every day," Mayor de Blasio said.

The mayor says those who haven't will be removed from the classroom.

"The message to parents is you will only have buildings with vaccinated adults in them," he said.

Watch the Eyewitness News Special on Vaccines: What's new, what's next

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