Coalition calls for withdrawal of mandatory flu vaccination rule
A coalition of unions and occupational health and safety professionals has called on New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines to withdraw the emergency regulation that requires all healthcare workers to receive flu vaccinations by Nov. 30.
In a three-page letter sent under the letterhead of the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), the group also proposes that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) create a task force of stakeholders to assist in the development of a more effective, comprehensive approach to preventing the spread of influenza, revise DOH guidelines on respiratory protection for workers, and establish the N-95 respirator as the minimum level of protection for direct care of patients, residents, or clients with infectious respiratory illness.
Copies were sent to Gov. David Paterson, key committee chairs in the State Legislature, Thomas Farley, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and county health departments.
The letter was signed by:
- Tina Gerardi, RN, CEO of the New York State Nurses Association
- George Gresham, President, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
- Kenneth Brynien, President, New York State Public Employees Federation
- Danny Donohue, President, CSEA
- Lillian Roberts, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME
- Barry Liebowitz, MD, President, Doctor’s Council, SEIU
- T. Toni Lewis, President, Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare
- Kathleen Donahue, Vice President, NYSUT
- Phillip H. Smith, PhD, President, United University Professions
- Gregory Floyd, President, Local 237, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Presidents of 8 locals of the Communications Workers of American, District 1
- Stephen Rechner, President, UCATS Local 3882 NYSUT/AFT
- Joel Shufro, Executive Director, NYCOSH
- John Miller, Executive Director, Central New York Council on OSH
- Roger Cook, Executive Director, Western New York Council on OSH
- Lawerence D’Addona, Chair, Mount Sinai/IJ Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine Advisory Board
- Michael Lax, MD, MPH, Medical Director, and Bob Tompkins, Advisory Board Chair, Occupational Health Clinical Center
- John Gentile, Chair, Hudson Valley Occupational Medicine Center Advisory Board