Our caucus, UNITY/UFT, has advocated and fought for the safety and health of our members since our union’s inception more than 60 years ago. The past year has been a testament to that fact as UNITY/UFT fought seven days a week for our members to work in a safe environment as the pandemic devastated our nation’s health and economy.
And, because of our perseverance, our refusal to bow to poorly-conceived strategies that may have harmed our members and to advocate for safety and preventive measures, we are now among the first people in the city and state to receive the vaccine.
UNITY/UFT coordinated with participating health care institutions to ensure that teachers, paraprofessionals and our other education members who want the shot can get it as soon as possible. Priority was given to in-person educators first because they’re at a higher risk for contracting COVID than those who remain at home.
An astounding 20,000 UFT members responded with a resounding, “I want the vaccine,” since we announced this program on Sunday, Jan. 10. Of course, educators may receive their vaccine through the city-run programs but our swift actions allowed for multiple vaccination opportunities for members.
UNITY/UFT also negotiated with the city to ensure our members have two hours of paid release time if they can’t schedule an appointment outside of work hours.
UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew, when asked about our members being offered the vaccine said, “Thankfully, our members are getting the vaccine. We all hope this is the beginning of the end of this horrible crisis that has killed thousands in our city and millions worldwide.”
UNITY/UFT – Working to keep members safe during the COVID pandemic.