BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts State Police union has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Charlie Baker to delay a COVID-19 mandate requiring all state employees to be fully vaccinated by mid-October or risk getting fired.
A 14-page lawsuit by the State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM), was filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Friday, asking a judge to put the vaccination requirement on hold to give the union time to negotiate terms and conditions of their members’ employment.
Right now, it is unclear just how many state troopers have been vaccinated. If a judge doesn’t rule in the union’s favor, troopers who don’t get their shots could be fired. The union represents about 1,800 members. A hearing for the suit was scheduled for Wednesday.
In August, Gov. Baker announced he would require over 40,000 executive branch employees and contractors under his control, which includes the Massachusetts State Police, to be vaccinated by October 17 or face disciplinary action, including the potential that they could lose their jobs.
When asked why this order is so important, Baker doubled down on his stance saying it’s the best way to protect the public and those that work in public-facing jobs.
“I want people who deal with the public, I want people who are face to face with the public folks who work for the Commonwealth to be comfortable knowing that those folks are vaccinated,” said Gov. Baker.
The state police union is hoping that a judge will at the very least delay the vaccine mandate. What they really want to see is an alternative added, which would allow troopers who don’t want to get vaccinated to undergo weekly tests and wear a mask while on the job.
Several states across the country have mandated vaccinations for their public workers, however, they are allowing a weekly testing alternative to vaccination.