The Massachusetts State Police union filed a lawsuit against Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s mandate requiring vaccines for all state workers by October 17th.
If they do not get the vaccine, officers face likely termination.
The lawsuit, according to the Boston Globe, is requesting that the mandate be temporarily halted in order to give the union more time to bargain and “negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.”
Not allowing the union to negotiate with the governor’s office would cause “irreparable harm” for the troopers, the lawsuit contends.
The union is seeking to allow the option of masking and regular testing as opposed to getting the vaccine.
They also request “presumptive protection” to members who are forced to retire or die due to either the virus or the vaccination. Such a move would automatically make their case a “line-of-duty injury” with additional benefits.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker surprised many with his vaccine mandate at a time when many Republican governors are opposing such moves.
State employees, according to the governor’s office, “will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”
At the time he announced the vaccine mandate, Baker expressed interest in discussing “specific ramifications of non-compliance” with the unions.
Employees would be expected to get vaccine booster shots as well, but exemptions will be granted for medical or sincere religious reasons.
Last week, a few hundred protesters gathered outside the State House to protest the Massachusetts vaccine mandate.
“I am a health care worker, and I’m losing my job in physical therapy, even though I worked through the whole pandemic,” one protester told the Boston Herald.
“I am going to fight this tooth-and-nail along with all my other friends that are pro-choice.”
Those in attendance at the protest included several members of the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union and a host of health care workers nervous about losing their jobs over refusing the vaccine.
The Massachusetts State Police union requesting more time to negotiate makes sense on several fronts, not the least of which involves the timeframe.
WCVB reports that officers would have needed to schedule the first part of the Moderna vaccine this past Sunday in order to be in compliance with the mandate.
The Pfizer vaccine would have to be scheduled by this Sunday based on their timeframes.
Those who haven’t taken action to get their vaccine or at least have it scheduled now face being fired due to Baker’s mandate.
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