As part of B Together, an initiative to require vaccination in certain indoor spaces in Boston, including indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment establishments, February 15th is the start date for all people ages 12+ to show proof of second dose of vaccination.
Her plan also included a vaccination requirement for all city workers which has run into some “snags.”
The B Together initiative is is an update of the City’s previous policy, which allowed for an option for city workers to be regularly tested instead of being vaccinated. Which is causing issues with local unions and collective bargaining rights.
Former Mayor Kim Janey previously worked out a deal with unions to give employees the option of either getting vaccinated or submitting weekly test results. After Wu took office, she removed the testing option and said workers must be vaccinated unless they qualify for an exemption.
Local 718 Boston Firefighters, the Boston Police Superior Officer Federation, Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society have gone to court stating this violates collective bargaining rights. The mandate is on hold while an appellate court reviews the lawsuit filed by three of the four police and fire unions
Last week, Local 718 posted the following letter on social media stating the Mayor Wu and the City of Boston have walked away from negotiations. They also bring up the point that the City of Boston removed the B Together mandate from a proposal they had made and stated that they themselves are unsure if the mayor has the power or authority to issue this mandate. You can read the letter here.
The Boston City Council held a hearing this past Friday morning to discuss Mayor Michelle Wu’s mandate that workers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to WBUR, City Councilor-at-Large Erin Murphy called for the hearing to find out more information about why the Wu administration thought the strict mandate was necessary and whether it is still needed. You can read a recap of the meeting here.
Both City Councilor Frank Baker and Murphy introduced a hearing order for for an in-person session about the fact that the city’s public health declarations remain in effect for the pandemic. According to the Boston Herald, Baker believes Wu’s administration has “not been paying attention to business needs” and potentially has put a thumb on the scale of collective bargaining due to mandates.
The goal of this hearing would be to answer more questions re: Covid mandates and gain more transparency when it comes to when the City of Boston of a state of emergency and into a state of recovery. No word as to when the hearing will be held.
To show proof of your second dose in the City of Boston, you can use your actual vaccination card, a photo on your phone or the B Together app that display your status.
You can learn more about this here.