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Boston’s COVID vaccine mandate paused by choose for sure employees

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BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s vaccination mandate will not go into impact on Monday for some metropolis employees, following a choose’s order Thursday.

A Massachusetts Appeals Court choose issued a short lived keep on the mandate for unionized firefighters and sure unionized law enforcement officials difficult it. The choose dominated the vaccine mandate will probably be paused pending a assessment of a decrease court docket order.

Earlier this week, town firefighters union and two police officers’ unions appealed a state Superior Courtroom ruling denying a request to briefly halt the measure whereas the court docket weighed the unions’ broader problem.

The Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, one of many union concerned within the swimsuit, known as on Boston Mayor Michelle Wu to additionally maintain off making use of the mandate to unionized lecturers and patrol officers.

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The union stated the order means town will be unable to implement the mandate in opposition to firefighters, police supervisors or detectives till the unions’ enchantment has been determined.

“Over the previous few months, Mayor Wu has undermined collective bargaining and the labor rights of so many metropolis employees,” the union stated in a press release. “This has by no means been an anti-vaccine concern. Mayor Wu ignored written agreements and refused to fulfill with unions in good religion.”

Wu responded that 95% of metropolis employees have already been vaccinated in opposition to the virus.

“Vaccination is our strongest instrument on this ongoing public well being emergency, and we look ahead to submitting our response with the court docket,” she stated in an emailed assertion.

Labor unions have clashed in public and within the courts with Wu on the mandate, at the same time as most metropolis employees have already met its requirement to obtain no less than one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sunday, or face being positioned on unpaid go away.

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The firefighters union desires town to supply an choice to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing as a substitute of being vaccinated. Town’s largest police union has additionally opposed the mandate, and town lecturers’ union has voiced issues the mandate will disproportionately harm educators of coloration.

Wu initially set the deadline for Jan. 15, however pushed it again to Sunday within the face of union opposition.

The mayor stated Monday that greater than 94% of town’s workforce — or practically 18,3000 staff — have met the mandate. That features 94% of public faculty employees, 95% of police division employees, 95% of library employees, 97% of parks and recreation employees and 91% of fireside division employees.

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Wu has stated her administration can be sifting by way of greater than 600 requests for an exemption primarily based on medical or spiritual causes.



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