Boston Teachers Sue Their Own Union Over Vaccination Agreement With City

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two Boston Public Schools teachers filed a lawsuit against their own union, Boston Teachers Union, Local 66, over the short notice presentation of a memorandum of agreement that includes "substantial departures" that would allegedly affect their collective-bargaining agreement.

The complaint filed in Suffolk County Superior Court on Monday said that the MOA agreement between the BTU and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's administration, that may force unvaccinated teachers to use sick time to continue to get paid during COVID-19 case spikes, was against provisions of the BTU collective-bargaining agreement.

Under the MOA agreement, unvaccinated teachers could be put on unpaid leave if they're out of sick time while Boston is in a "red zone" of COVID-19 cases, the ICU's capacity is more than 95%, and when daily test positivity rate is above 5%.

According to the BTU, the agreement was passed by an 84% union vote on Wednesday, and that it will enable unvaccinated members to submit proof of two negative COVID-19 screening tests per week during periods of lower COVID-19 transmission. The BTU said that 367 of their educators have chosen to remain unvaccinated as of February 9.

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The suit said that the MOA agreement was in violation of the BTU bylaws, specifically that 15 days of notice were not given in advance of the meeting in which the agreement was voted on.

The plaintiffs, Paula Taylor and John Daley, asked in their complaint that a judge overturn the agreement, at least pending a vote within the BTU with 15 days' notice.

According to the lawsuit, both Taylor and Daley are members of the Boston First Responders Union, an association comprised of Boston police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and teachers that have previously voiced their disapproval of Wu's vaccine mandate.

“We are glad to have reached an agreement with the district that will uplift the health and safety of our educators, students, and communities, while still being able to retain our educators who have chosen to remain unvaccinated," the BTU said in a statement on Thursday.

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