Massachusetts corrections officers tell judge they shouldn't be required to be vaccinated

In a lawsuit, the union and officers are asking the court to rule the vaccine mandate violates the collective bargaining agreement.

Updated: October 15, 2021 - 11:00pm

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Members of the Massachusetts corrections officers union told a judge this week that they shouldn't be subject to the state's vaccine mandate, according to news reports.

The Massachusetts Corrections Officers Federated Union and corrections officers Michael Mosher, Zac Gustafson, Denina Dunn, and Angela Pucci have filed suit against Gov. Charlie Baker and Carol A. Mici, commissioner of the state’s Department of Corrections, over the governor’s vaccine mandate, as reported by Boston 25 News.

On Aug. 19, Baker issued an executive order requiring all Executive Department employees to provide proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 17 or face disciplinary action that could lead to termination.

In the suit, the union and officers are asking the court to rule that the order violates the collective bargaining agreement and rights contained in the document and interferes with the officers right to deny unwanted medical treatment.

In addition, the union and officers claim the order deprives them of their right to employment security, specifically the order interferes with the 14th Amendment, causing irreparable harm, as officers would be deprived of economic security benefits bargained for on their behalf.

The news outlet reported U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Hamilton listened to arguments from both sides in the case, while the union “has requested a preliminary injunction” as the lawsuit works its way through the court system.

According to the report, Jennifer Greaney, the state’s attorney, “argued that the union did not have a case” under the Constitution “because they could and are adjudicating their college bargaining complaints before the state’s Department of Labor Relations.”