State police union sues over governor’s vaccination mandate
BOSTON (AP) — The union that represents about 1,800 Massachusetts State Police troopers has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to delay Gov. Charlie Baker’s state employee coronavirus vaccine mandate so it can negotiate its terms.
A hearing on the suit filed Friday is scheduled for Wednesday.
The suit asks for the delay so the union can “negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.”
The union also asks that troopers who choose not to get vaccinated, or who have already had COVID-19, be allowed to instead undergo weekly coronavirus testing.
The union is also asking for “presumptive protection” for troopers who get sick from COVID-19 or the vaccine, according to the suit.
The union wants any coronavirus-related injury or death “automatically be considered a line-of-duty injury,” which would come with additional benefits for members.
Baker announced last month that 42,000 state workers and contractors in the executive branch are required to be vaccinated, or be granted a legitimate exemption, by Oct. 17 or face disciplinary action up to and including termination.
A spokesperson for Baker said the administration does not comment on pending lawsuits.