A Massachusetts police union said on Friday that dozens of state poachers have resigned over a COVID vaccine mandate for state workers.
The mandate requires state workers to receive the vaccine by October 17 or they can quit their jobs.
A lawsuit was filed by the State Police Association of Massachusetts – a union representing 1,800 officers – in an attempt to delay Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s mandate. That suit was thrown away on Thursday.
“Many of these troopers will return to their previous municipal police departments within the state that allow regular testing and masking,” SPAM President Michael Cherven said.
“To date, dozens of troopers have submitted their resignation papers.”
A lawsuit was filed by the State Police Association of Massachusetts in an attempt to delay enforcement of the vaccine mandate in the state, but was thrown out
Governor Charlie Baker upheld mandate requiring state workers to be vaccinated or take disciplinary action by Oct. 17
Cherven added: “During COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.
“Put simply, all we’re asking is the same basic services that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID-related illness like an occupational injury.”
The request was denied Thursday by Massachusetts Supreme Court Judge Jackie Cowin.
“In concrete terms, the public interest is undoubtedly best served by stopping the spread of the virus, protecting people from getting sick, ensuring adequate medical care and limiting the emergence of new, more deadly variants of the virus” Cowin told the Daily Wire.
Commenting on the decision, Cherven said: “We are disappointed with the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision.
“It is unfortunate that the governor and his team have chosen to impose one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.”
SPAM President Michael Cherven said the vaccine could leave them understaffed after the Massachusetts Supreme Court rejected their request Thursday.
Governor Baker opposed the mandate’s opposition and the alternative options sought by workers.
“I want people who come face-to-face with people from the public who work for the commonwealth to feel comfortable knowing that those people have been 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 that they get vaccinated so they can be safe.”
Only 20% of SPAM’s employees have been vaccinated, according to the Boston Herald
About 20% of police union members had not been vaccinated earlier this week, according to the Boston Herald.
“The state police already have a critical staff shortage and recognize this by taking unprecedented steps to hire agents from specialized units investigating homicide, terrorism, computer crime, arson and human trafficking, to name a few,” Cherven said.
President Biden also announced a mandate this month for federal employees to receive the vaccine.
He also said that employees who fail to follow the rules will face disciplinary action, including termination, and that the mandate applies to companies with 100 or more employees.
“We’ve been patient, but we’re running out of patience and your refusal has cost us all,” Biden said.
According to NPR, approximately 55% of the US population has been fully vaccinated and 64% has received at least one dose.
The state of Massachusetts has a complete vaccination coverage of 67.5% and 77% have received at least one dose.