Massachusetts Appeals Judge Sabita Singh granted an injunction on Tuesday blocking enforcement of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's city employee vaccine mandate until concerns raised by unions are resolved, Boston.com reported.
The unions that raised concern were the Boston Firefighters Local 718, Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, and the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society.
''Given the limited harm to the city and the public health interest it seeks to promote, and the substantial harm likely to be sustained by the unions in the absence of an injunction, the balance of harms favors the issuance of an injunction to preserve the status quo, in view of the unions' likelihood of success on the merits,'' Singh wrote in her order.
An agreement between Boston and unions that requires city employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested weekly will remain in place.
The Boston Police Superior Officers Federation wrote a statement on Facebook praising the decision.
''As we have said from the start, this is not an anti-vaccination fight, instead this is a chance to hold our elected leaders accountable while protecting our member's labor rights,'' the union wrote.
''The decision by Justice Singh demonstrates that when one puts away the far fetched rhetoric and the social media soundbites, the law and the facts are on our side. This is not just a win for our members, this is a win for public safety and the citizens of Boston as a whole,'' they added.
A spokesperson for the city responded to the decision in a statement to Boston.com.
''To protect communities and workplaces against COVID-19, courts across the country have repeatedly recognized the rights of state and local governments to require public employees to be vaccinated,'' the spokesperson said.
''More than 95 percent of the City's workforce is vaccinated because of the policy we enacted. Our workers and residents who rely on city services deserve to be protected. We are disappointed by today's decision and are reviewing it carefully.''
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