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Appeals-court justice halts Boston employee vaccination mandate until at least next Thursday

A Massachusetts Appeals Court justice has order Boston not to carry out its Covid-19 vaccination mandate for city workers until she can review the situation.

Justices Sabita Singh gave city attorneys until Feb. 3 to respond to the lawsuit by unions representing firefighters and police superior officers and detectives - two days after Mayor Wu had said the city would start notifying unvaccinated workers they were being placed on unpaid leave.

Singh's brief ruling takes no side on the merits of the case, nor does it commit her to a particular date on which she would issue a decision.

The unions yesterday formally asked the appeals court to overturn Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke's decision not to block the city mandate in which he cited public-health concerns as a reason to let the city require worker vaccination as a way to halt the spread of the potentially deadly disease.

The unions say they are not against shots per se but that Wu imposed the order in violation of their collective-bargaining rights because they had reached agreements with acting Mayor Kim Janey to let workers opposed to shots get weekly Covid-19 tests.

In his ruling, Locke said he agreed with the unions the city should not have abrogated their agreement like that, but said that was outweighed by the fact the unions still had non-court ways to fight the mandate and because he agreed with judges in similar cases involving state troopers and prison guards that in balancing rights, the right of the government to do everything it can to fight Covid-19, especially after the rise of the more transmissible omicron variant, took precedence.

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Comments

This mandate is dead and I feel sorry for people who took vaccines against their wishes.

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Voting closed 89

Unless you can provide evidence of it, no one was vaccinated against their wishes. Every single person receiving the vaccine had to give their legal consent. There is clearly a population of employees that has stuck to their unfortunate and dangerous position in this matter.

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Consent under a threat of economic ruin? Or they could just switch their careers to TD garden.

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It is routine for people to be required to piss in a cup or undergo a background check in order to get a job. It is common for workers to have to put up with worksite conditions of dubious safety. If someone called it "economic ruin" for them to decide not to comply and forego their employment, you'd call them hysterical. Stop clutching your pearls so hard, you'll do yourself a harm.

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Voting closed 35

Except that in your example prospective employees who show up on Friday don't need to piss in a cup.

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...is not someone pissing in a cup. It's the entire point flying past your head.

If you're going to try to move goalposts, try to be less clumsy about it.

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Anyone can claim that they do not agree with any decision their employer makes and seek new employment elsewhere. I hear there's no shortage of job openings these days either.

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Being angry at your friends for making you take a cab home and not driving after having a few drinks.

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I don’t understand the opposition to a safe effective vaccine. Their desire to prolong an epidemic for their friends, neighbors, coworkers and families mostly because they want to make a political statement is sad, but to be honest, with this constituency, not all that surprising.

America has lost the plot. When opinions take precedence over facts, well, it’s looking like the heavyset female singer is just about to step up to the microphone…..

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Voting closed 59

From reading the story, the issue appears to be that the city ripped up an agreement signed by the previous administration without any due process but maybe I’m misreading it.
Pro vax or anti vax (I am by no means an anti vaxxer), ripping up agreements signed within the last few months is a bad precedent.

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If Wu was the first mayor of Boston to tackle this, sure, she’d have idiots doing whatever stupid things they do in front of her house way to early in the morning, but from a labor relations perspective, she’d be bargaining in good faith.

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You win Waquiot! We get to pay for the hospitalization and death benefits of dead unvaccinated city workers because of “good faith bargaining,” which is definitely more important than police, fire fighters, EMS and teachers getting the most effective and basic protection from this disease in a pandemic.

Woo hoo! Good job! Give yourself a big pat on the back.

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And MBTA employees! Why am I the only one that can remember that the Carmen’s union is fighting the mandate too?

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Hint- it has something to do with the level of government they occupy.

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I wish I could say the level of union hatred on this website, but I've gotten used to that.

What gets me is that a year ago we were told that all that was needed was for 80% of the population to get vaccinated and all would be well. Well, since over 90% of city workers are vaccinated, we are more than set.

It's odd that you didn't gripe when Janey came up with her vaccination plan and worked with the unions to implement it, but here you are, calling it a shitty plan now. But since you are not the mayor of Boston, whatever. Keep on hating on the unions.

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"The unions say they are not against shots per se" ......oh for sure

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