After a few State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) members were granted accommodations for those who don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the union said they are being punished.
“Not being allowed to wear their uniforms. No contact with the public. Not allowed to serve and protect. This is no way to treat our Troopers. They will most likely be hidden away in some office for the remainder of their careers unable to ever work on the road again,” the Facebook post states. “Punitively pushed out and made to be so uncomfortable they quit.”
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The association’s Facebook posts states “so far 5 of our members are facing as punishment for having legitimate medical reasons making them unable to get vaccinated.”
Gov. Charlie Baker mandated in mid-August that all Executive Department employees be fully vaccinated with either the two-shot regimen of Pfizer or Moderna or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 17.
Multiple lawsuits attempting to halt Baker’s mandate failed in court.
Late last month, several state troopers who refused to get vaccinated under Baker’s COVID mandate were suspended without pay, according to the SPAM.
While the majority of state troopers are vaccinated, SPAM spokesman Chris Keohan told MassLive that 186 troopers sought a religious exemption. Another 14 troopers requested a medical waiver for the COVID-19 vaccine.
A shortage of state police troopers poses a public safety threat, SPAM previously argued while asking vaccination accommodations. But Baker has repeatedly defended his vaccine mandate, calling it “perfectly appropriate” since so many state workers interact directly with the public.
SPAM is still asking for alternative options, such as masks.
“They were good enough for this Commonwealth during the height of the pandemic and now they have been shunned. It’s time the Commonwealth stop playing games with their lives,” SPAM wrote. “We are not anti-vaccine, we are pro-public safety, let these brave men and women wear masks and get back to work.”
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