Boston Firefighters Union Calls City’s Proposed Vaccine Mandate A Human Rights Violation

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The Boston Teachers Union is all for it, but how about the Boston Firefighters Local 718?

The firefighters union has a different opinion on coronavirus vaccine mandates from the teachers union — the firefighters union’s president labeled them as a “violation of an individual’s human rights” in an email message that went out to its members on Thursday afternoon.


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Boston’s acting mayor, Kim Janey, is working on a plan for a vaccine mandate for city workers. That includes firefighters. However, the Boston Firefighters Local 178 plans to fight that vaccination mandate because it would change their working conditions without any collective bargaining.

Local 718 President John Soares sent the email message to the union’s members, voicing several concerns. Here is what the email said, according to Universal Hub:


We first learned of a potential mandatory COVID vaccination policy being proposed by Mayor Janey for City of Boston employees in the media approximately two weeks ago. Learning of such a major change in working conditions and violation of an individual’s human rights under these circumstances is not only unacceptable but represents a lack of respect to the men and women who have selflessly served on the front lines since the beginning of this global pandemic. This policy has generated a myriad of questions and scenarios that could have lasting effects not only on our members’ health and rights but on the collective bargaining process.

Boston Firefighters understand the seriousness of the COVID virus because of the personal nature of our work protecting the public. Our concerns regarding mandated vaccination should not in any way be misconstrued to belittle the deadly effects of this virus. We have strived throughout this pandemic to maintain safe working conditions for our members, their families, and the public we serve. I am proud of how we have conducted ourselves professionally during these challenging times and for the partnership we have with Commissioner Dempsey. However, we deserve, like all city employees deserve, an opportunity to address our concerns with a meaningful dialogue on all sides of this issue. As your President, I will continue to navigate this situation until a resolution can be reached.


Soares could not be reached for comment on Friday.


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