PEF statement on COVID booster mandate for healthcare workers

ALBANY, NY (01/11/2022) (readMedia)-- PEF President Wayne Spence issued the following statement in response to to New York's COVID booster mandate for healthcare workers:

"New York State is inexplicably insisting on a mad dash to force workers into the workplace during the worst winter surge of the COVID pandemic. By the State's own reports, this is the worst spread of infection we have seen at any time during this pandemic, and health experts predict this surge has not peaked yet. Rather than allow its workforce to protect themselves, their families and the public from this surge by telecommuting as they did during previous surges, the State ignores this simple and effective strategy and, instead, chooses to broaden vaccine mandates, requires workers to wear masks all day at their desks, wastes its limited supply of COVID tests and now forces another dose of the vaccine upon its strained workforce.

There is a simple and incredibly effective solution here which the State continue to ignore. New York needs to establish a robust telecommuting program that will truly protect workers and the public, as well as provide higher-quality masks (N95s or KN95s) for employees who cannot telecommute. Instead, the State appears more concerned about revenue than employees' lives. Governor Hochul should heed her own words: 'Let's learn from the lessons of the past and finally put this winter surge behind us.'" (NYS COVID briefing, Jan. 10, 2022)