Baker orders state employees to show proof of vaccination by mid-October
Gov. Baker today declared that all employees of "executive" state departments have to prove they've been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or they could get fired.
The order does allow exemptions for people who can show they have medical reasons not to get shots or hold a "sincerely held religious belief" against vaccination. The order also calls for termination for people who say they're vaccinated but aren't.
Baker's order does not apply to state workers not directly under the supervision of Baker and his Cabinet secretaries - which includes employees at state colleges and universities, the judiciary, authorities such as Massport and the MBTA and members of the legislature, but it urges them to follow suit.
In his order, Baker said vaccines have proven to be both safe and our most effective tool for combating the potentially fatal virus and its time for the state - the largest single employer in Massachusetts - to show leadership and boost our already high vaccination rates.
Baker's complete vaccination order (1.4M PDF).
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Is this a good example?
The State police must get the vaccine. The Transit and Massport police do not have to get vaccinated.
sincerely held religious belief
All praise be to the Virus Lord!
What are the actual religious exemptions?
I don't believe these use animal products which would one reason for some religious objections. Surely 'my crazy as priest say not to' isn't valid, is it?
Satan has called me home
And I don't want to keep him waiting.
Just my opinion and IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but a religious exemption gives anyone an out who wants one. And Baker knows that so any threat of consequences is for show.
Ask the student at UMass Boston who said she had such a conviction as a Catholic, so she wasn't taking no shots, nope, and the school replied: The Pope himself says get a shot, so no exemption for you.
There aren't any
There aren't any. There are manufactured objections that people cloak in religion because they know that in the United States, religion holds an absurdly privileged position that makes it unquestionable and unassailable. There are members of various denominations who claim that their religion forbids vaccinations, when their own religious authorities do not support this claim.
Right. Because only an
Right. Because only an executive level employee is someone he would verbally communicate with and meet with in person.
Sorry, that's not what it means
In this case "executive" means departments that report directly to the executive offices under his control - which includes everything from State Police to MassDOT workers. That's like 40,000 people.
It excludes state authorities, which are technically semi-independent, like the MBTA and Massport and state universities.
...prison guards (who have supposedly been one of the least-vaccinated groups)?
Maybe he should rethink forcing people back to work.
You know, if you are set up to work remotely, and you aren’t in a public facing role, why should you be forced to return to the office where there is no mask mandate?
Agreed on the vaccine requirement. That is a good decision.
That is what is actually happening
Mainly because the state is consolidating office space downtown, but also due to Delta. My son has not had a physical office yet, but his whole group is being moved around because groups from other agencies are being moved into the building. Other agencies spread across multiple buildings are being consolidated.
It will be a while - November, maybe January, something like that - and it will by hybrid from here on out
But if people are eventually going back, the state needs to set the pace on this. This leaves some time for union negotiations as well, as this is considered a substantive change to job requirements.
You are uninformed
Thousands of executive branch employees are working on a hybrid model where they are required to report to the office.
Because what better to do in a continuing pandemic than reduce the number of workspaces and increase the population density of your workforce?
Consolidating office space ≠ Unsafe COVID protocols
As in... eliminating a work location (but retaining staff) means more people than previously in the remaining work location, breathing that same air.
As in... fitting more people into one work location means individual workspaces closer to each other, as well as smaller group spaces.
It's quite likely this is because of increased remote work
A number of businesses are seeking smaller office space this year.
How does one test for Delta?