Sunday, October 24, 2021

Judge denies police union attempt to delay vaccine mandate in Massachusetts

A Massachusetts judge has denied a state police union’s bid to delay mandatory vaccinations for all state employees.

The State Police Association of Massachusetts, a union representing about 1,800 state police officers, filed a lawsuit (PDF) last week, asking the judge to give the union time to “negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.” Was asked to withhold the mandate for October 17 deadline.

“The public interest, unquestionably, does what is best to prevent the spread of the virus, to prevent people from getting sick, to ensure an adequate supply of medical services, and to prevent the emergence of new, deadly forms of the virus,” Judge Jackie Cowin said in the decision, The Associated Press reported.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, issued an executive order last month that would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all executive department employees by October 17.

“Executive Department employees who are not approved for vaccination or exemption by October 17, 2021 will be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal… Management employees who do not comply by October 17, 2021 will also be subject to disciplinary action.” Till and including termination.” Baker’s office said in a statement.

His office also said, “The administration will continue to work with its union partners regarding this policy, and with each employee union well before October 17 on the specific effects of non-compliance for employees represented by unions.” Will be discussed as such.”

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The union had asked that soldiers who do not receive the vaccine be allowed to wear masks and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing instead.

“We are disappointed with the judge’s decision; However, we respect his decision,” union president Michael Cherven said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the governor and his team have gone through one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country without a reasonable alternative. Chosen for.”

“Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting citizens of Massachusetts and beyond. Simply put, we are asking for only the basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID-related illness as an injury of duty.

“To date, dozens of soldiers have submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments, such as wearing masks and conducting routine tests,” he said. “The state police are already severely under-staffed and have acknowledged this with unprecedented steps, which moved troops from special units that investigate murder, terrorism, computer crimes, arson, gangs, narcotics and human trafficking. and return them to uniformed patrol.”

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Mimi Nguyen Lai is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news, focusing on American news. her mimi.nl . contact on[at]epochtimes.com.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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