…well, not really, but kind of
by Michael Kane
In the January 8th edition of THE CHIEF the featured article is on the UFT’s rollout of the COVID vaccine. There is an entire section that quotes my January 6th Open Letter to UFT President Mr. Michael Mulgrew, and gets a response to it from a “UFT spokeswoman.” Here is what THE CHIEF published on January 8th in their lead report titled:
Keeping It Voluntary The coalition NY Teachers for Choice feared that the COVID vaccine would be required and called on Mr. Mulgrew to oppose mandatory vaccinations. “Almost every other union boss in NYC has come out and said they will not require their members to be injected with this vaccine to keep their jobs,” steering committee member Michael Kane wrote in a Jan. 6 open letter to him. A UFT spokeswoman said Mr. Mulgrew “stressed it is a personal decision whether or not to be vaccinated and reminded everyone that New York State will not mandate the vaccine.” (emphasis added)
This is definitely a good start.
I am extremely grateful to reporter Crystal Lewis of THE CHIEF for covering our concerns and asking hard questions to UFT leadership. However this is not enough assurance from UFT for TEACHERS FOR CHOICE to back off of our very first resolution that recently launched a campaign to divert union dues from New York Teacher Unions to an Emergency Health Protection Fund by March 1, 2021 if Mr. Mulgrew doesn’t respond to our concerns and begin a dialogue with us. It’s good to see this in THE CHIEF, but we need direct contact with Mr. Mulgrew or his staff through our TEACHERS FOR CHOICE caucus.
It is also good to see that this is a much different statement than what Mr. Mulgrew said to UFT members at a November 23rd virtual town hall meeting, where he stated the vaccine would likely be mandatory for teachers by September 2021. At that time we also wrote an open letter to Mr. Mulgrew but received no response back whatsoever.
It’s important to note the UFT spokeswoman who says Mulgrew “reminded everyone that New York State will not mandate the vaccine” is only talking about right now; January 2021, while the COVID vaccine is still under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Currently it is prohibited for such EUA products to be mandatory, as everyone must have the right to refuse under federal law (note that PCR COVID tests are currently only under EUA as well). By next school year the FDA may fully approve this vaccine – for both adults and children – and that would change everything. Mandates could then be eminent. Never mind this would be the fastest vaccine approval in history, only in existence for less than a year and a half. Never mind that both Pfizer and Moderna admit they don’t know if their vaccines will or will not prevent the transmission of SARS CoV-2 for those who are vaccinated. Never mind that if you are injured or killed by this vaccine Pfizer and Moderna have been legally indemnified and cannot be sued.
Never mind those pesky little “facts”.
I am very concerned we are going to see Mr. Mulgrew flip-flop on this issue repeatedly depending on which way the wind is blowing, what reporter he is talking to, when he is talking to them, what publication they work for, etc…
We need the UFT and all New York State Teacher Unions to begin a dialogue with us, through the TEACHERS FOR CHOICE caucus in regards to in-school COVID testing, the COVID vaccine and all medical mandates to maintain employment. If Union leaders refuse to make contact with us we have no choice but to go forward with our plans to divert union dues to an Emergency Health Protection Fund for New York educators as we clearly see multiple actions and lawsuits coming on the horizon around medical mandates for educators.
Read our first resolution in its entirety at the following link:
Sign our petition against Vaccine Mandates for Educators, which has over 17,000 signatures.