A Massachusetts police union said on Friday that dozen of state troopers have resigned over a COVID vaccine mandate for state workers.
The mandate requires state workers to get the vaccine shot by October 17 or may face termination from their jobs.
A lawsuit was filed by The State Police Association of Massachusetts – a union that represents 1,800 officers – in an attempt to delay the mandate enforced by Republican Governor Charlie Baker. That suit was thrown out Thursday.
‘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,’ SPAM president Michael Cherven said.
‘To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork.’
Cherven added: ‘Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.
‘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.’
The request was denied by Judge Jackie Cowin of the Massachusetts Supreme Court on Thursday.
‘Specifically, the public interest is, unquestionably, best served by stopping the spread of the virus, in order to protect people from becoming ill, ensure adequate supply of medical services, and curtail the emergence of new, deadlier variants of the virus,’ Cowin told the Daily Wire.
In response to the decision, Cherven said: ‘We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision.
‘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.’
Governor Baker argued against the opposition of the mandate and the alternative options that were being sought by workers.
‘I want people who are face to face with public folks who work for the commonwealth to be comfortable in knowing that those folks are vaccinated,’ he said, according to Boston.com.
‘They’re face to face with people they don’t know, so I happen to think it’s important for them to be vaccinated, so that they can be safe.’
According to the Boston Herald, about 20% of the police union’s members are still unvaccinated as of earlier this week.
‘The State Police are already critically short staffed and acknowledge this by the unprecedented moves to take officers from specialty units that investigate homicide’s, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons and human trafficking, to name just a few,’ Cherven said.
President Biden also announced a mandate this month for federal workers to receive the vaccine.
He also said that workers do not comply will face disciplinary action, such as termination, and the mandate applies to companies with 100 or more employees.
‘We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,’ Biden said.
According to NPR, about 55% of the US population has been fully vaccinated with 64% receiving at least one dose.
The state of Massachusetts has a full vaccination rate of 67.5% and 77% have received at least one dose.
Via – The Daily Mail UK