New York City‘s Mayor-elect, Eric Adams, has indicated he plans to “revisit” the mandate requiring all city workers to be vaccinated.

“We need to revisit how we’re going to address the vaccine mandates,” Mr Adams told MSNBC on Wednesday.

The mandate was put in place by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and drew sharp criticism from some unions and prompted “sick outs” among some of the city’s firefighters.

A reported 92 per cent of the city’s workers have had at least one vaccine dose.

Mr Adams said he wanted to encourage Mr de Blasio to “sit down with the unions”.

“We can work this out,” Mr Adams said. “This is a very difficult moment, but there’s an opportunity to sit down with the unions. I communicated with some of the union leaders yesterday and they are open to sit down, and this is a good opportunity to do so and I’m going to encourage him to make that happen.”

Mr de Blasio has been steadfast in his support for the mandate, claiming that the city saw an increase in vaccinations among workers as a result.

“We tried voluntary approaches,” Mr de Blasio told CNN on Tuesday. “We tried incentives. It wasn’t moving enough. Since we put this mandate into place Oct. 20, 24,000 more city employees have gotten vaccinated in just about 10 days. So, there’s the proof in the pudding.”

As for the “sick outs” reported among firefighters, Mr de Blasio offered little consideration.

“If you’re not sick, get to work; protect your fellow New Yorkers, be there for your fellow firefighters, stop playing this game,” he said.

On Thursday, the city reached an agreement with four unions over the vaccine mandate which provided exemption requests and leave policies.

The unions involved in the agreements include the DC 37, Teamsters Local 237, Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association Local 831, and SEIU Local 300. Together the unions represent approximately 75,000 of the city’s 300,000 municipal employees.

Under the new agreement, employees requesting an exemption from the mandate for medical or religious reasons will receive an initial decision from their agency. They will have the option to appeal their agency’s decision to an arbitrator who will decide whether or not the exemption is acceptable.

By filing exemption requests, city workers can stay on their agency’s payroll while they await an answer. On Monday, city workers who have not been vaccinated were put on unpaid leave until they receive a vaccine or quit the agency.

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