In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month, William J. Mellin, the New York Credit Union Association’s president/CEO, urged that front-line credit union personnel be included within the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On behalf of the credit unions located across all geographic and socio-demographic regions of the State of New York, we thank you and your administration for the continuously exceptional leadership demonstrated through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, credit unions throughout the Empire State have continued to closely monitor and follow the directives issued by your administration and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) to ensure the financial industry maintains the highest level of safety for our respective employees and the millions of members and customers we serve on a daily basis.
We are proud of our dedicated employees who have stepped up to this challenge and, in some cases, placed themselves at risk to ensure New Yorkers could maintain access to the financial system during these economically challenging times.
We are aware that the State of New York has developed the steps and protocols to ensure the safe and efficient distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine through the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program. According to the document, vaccinations will be administered in phases based on population risk and categories of essential workers.
We write to respectfully ask that frontline credit union employees who have been deemed by the State of New York as “essential workers” and through their employment function come into contact with members of the public — such as tellers and loan officers — be included in the next phased distribution of the vaccine (i.e. phase 2).
We believe these frontline workers face the highest risk of COVID-19 infection; inadvertently pose a risk of spreading the virus if infected; and continue to remain essential — especially in communities where residents may not have access to electronic banking tools.
Again, on behalf of our respective organizations, we truly thank you for the leadership, commitment, and consistent information provided by your administration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.