(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has given all executive department employees until October 17 to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or face dismissal. The State Police Association of Massachusetts – the union for state troopers — tried to stop the order in court, but the judge refused to intervene, suggesting the dispute be resolved through negotiations. And now, the union claims dozens of Massachusetts state troopers are threatening to resign rather than comply with Baker’s order.
In a statement after failing to get a court injunction, the State Police Association condemned Governor Baker and his administration for enacting “one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.” The union, which represents 1,800 members, added that already dozens of troopers have submitted their resignation paperwork. Some of those plan to return to other law enforcement departments that offer more reasonable alternatives like regular COVID testing or mask-wearing.
As it is, the union pointed out, the Massachusetts State Police are already “critically short-staffed,” so much so that members of specialized units are being returned to uniformed patrol to make up for the shortfall.
According to the Boston Globe, 80 percent of the State Police Association union members are currently vaccinated.
In its statement, the union argues that all they are asking for are “the same basic accommodations” that the other departments in the state have provided to their first responders, and for the state to treat a COVID-related illness as a line of duty injury.
However, the Massachusetts State Police disputes the union’s claim that dozens of troopers are retiring. A spokesman for the State Police told the Boston Globe on Monday that the department has been notified by their Human Resources office of only one trooper who definitely said he was retiring over the vaccine mandate.
While the spokesman concedes that there are other troopers who have indicated that they might possibly retire or resign over the mandate, as of Monday, the State Police are only aware of one such case.
Governor Baker meanwhile stands by his threat to dismiss executive branch public employees who refuse to get vaccinated. After the judge’s decision, Baker told reporters that for those with daily interactions with the public, he believes it is “critically important” that they be vaccinated.