Dozens of troopers have submitted their resignation papers as a result of the state’s covid vaccine mandate a Massachusetts police union confirmed on Friday
The state is requiring all executive department employees to show proof of vaccination by October 17 or risk losing their jobs.
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A 14 page lawsuit was filed by The State Police Association of Massachusetts , a union that representing 1,800 officers, in an attempt to delay the mandate enforced by Republican Governor Charlie Baker
The Massachusetts Supreme Court threw out the suit on Thursday.
The Boston Herald reports: “Many of these troopers are going to be returning to their previous municipal police departments within the state that allow for regular testing and masks,” said union boss Michael Cherven. “To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork.”
The State Police Association of Massachusetts said in a statement shared with the Herald Friday that allowing the union representing 1,800 members to negotiate with the Baker administration was their preferred route.
“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision,” Cherven said. “It is unfortunate that the Governor and his team have chosen to mandate one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.”
Gov. Charlie Baker instituted a vaccine mandate for all Executive Branch employees Aug. 19, including all troopers, with a deadline of Oct. 17 to be fully vaccinated. The order only granted exemptions for those who have medical or religious grounds to reject the vaccine.
Cherven pointed out troopers “have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond” through the pandemic — as have all first responders.
“Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID-related illness as a line-of-duty injury,” Cherven said.
Now that the judge has rejected any delay, the troopers still needing jabs have just days to begin the vaccination process — if they want the Moderna or Pfizer two-shot mRNA coronavirus vaccine. Not having a shot could cost the officers their jobs.
About 20% of members were unvaccinated as of earlier this week, the Herald reported.
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