Special to the Journal
As the old saying goes, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” and in 2021, the United States Postal Service’s motto should be updated to include the words “nor pandemic.”
Unfortunately, postal workers were not specifically named as one of the job-specific sectors eligible in Phase 1 and Phase 2 in the Baker administration’s phased approach to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, despite being designated in the CDC’s Phase 1b recommendation. After hearing from postal workers from Revere, Chelsea or Saugus, Representative Jessica A. Giannino (D-Revere) felt compelled to advocate to the Baker administration to prioritize these essential workers.
“I was proud to lead an effort to draft a sign-on letter for my colleagues in the Legislature to join with me in calling on Governor Baker to prioritize postal workers and to specifically name them in the state’s phased vaccination approach,” said Representative Jessica A. Giannino (D-Revere). “Postal workers have been on the front lines throughout the entire pandemic, and sometimes do not receive the credit they so rightly deserve. They are interacting with the public regularly, whether it is when delivering mail to a person’s home or in the post office when citizens are buying stamps or mailing packages. These are men and women who have reported to work each and every day since the onset of the pandemic, and whose essential function became even more critical over the last year with the 2020 elections and a busy holiday season that saw an influx in deliveries.”
Ensuring that these workers remain healthy is essential to averting backlogs that have plagued the USPS since the onset of the pandemic. Nearly fifty State Representatives and State Senators signed onto the letter to express that they share postal workers’ concerns both for their health and their ability to continue their essential work, and to urge Governor Baker to acknowledge the public health value of their role by explicitly naming these workers in the state’s eligibility criteria as soon as possible.