The union that represents New York state correctional officers will be taking legal action against the state over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
In an internal memo obtained exclusively by Spectrum News 1, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association says it opposes the vaccine mandate since it was made without the input of the union.
“Clearly the COVID-19 vaccines seek to foster safer working conditions,” the memo states. “However, as a union we have the statutory right to negotiate any changes to the terms and conditions of our employment and we will not allow the state to make such changes unilaterally without a fight.”
At the end of July, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated that by Labor Day all state employees, including correctional officers, would have to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly.
This received pushback from numerous labor unions at the time, including NYSCOPBA, who said that these decisions must be negotiated with workers.
“We are strongly opposed to these workplace mandates being forced upon our membership by the State,” the memo sent out on Friday says. “Simply put, the State cannot implement this mandate unilaterally without first conferring with statewide unions, including NYSCOPBA; and it clearly failed to do so.”
It is unclear exactly what type of legal action will be taken, but the memo says more will be released soon.
“We are actively discussing further steps, including a comprehensive media campaign to complement our legal strategy in order to shed light on our efforts,” the memo states.