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.