BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – The Massachusetts State Police union said that some troopers are being punished for being medically exempt from the state’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) in a statement on Facebook said that so far five troopers are being punitively pushed out of their positions “for having legitimate and medical reasons” that makes them unable to get vaccinated.
“After months of negotiating, filing an injunction and being present on both the Local and National news - we finally were able to receive the order that a few members will be granted accommodations,” the union wrote. “However, these accommodations are far from fair and reasonable, in fact they are exactly the opposite.”
These accommodations include officers not being allowed to wear their uniforms, having no contact with the public and not being allowed to serve and protect. SPAM said that these measures will ultimately force the troopers to quit.
“This is no way to treat our Troopers,” they wrote. “They will most likely be hidden away in some office for the remainder of their careers unable to ever work on the road again.”
Back in August, Governor Charlie Baker announced a mandate requiring all Executive Department employees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 on or before October 17. Those who could not get vaccinated had to apply for exemption. Anyone who was not vaccinated, or exempt would face suspension without pay and potentially be fired.
SPAM tried to block the mandate from taking effect in Superior Court, but a judge denied the request. This left unvaccinated troopers a short amount of time to get their first dose and many at the risk of losing their job.
The union also said that at least 150 troopers have resigned over the mandate amid an existing staffing shortage. SPAM is now calling on the Commonwealth to provide more reasonable alternatives for their officers.
“Our members answered every call for service throughout the pandemic without hesitation. They were good enough for this Commonwealth during the height of the pandemic and now they have been shunned,” they wrote. “We are not anti-vaccine, we are pro-public safety, let these brave men and women wear masks and get back to work!”