The head of the Chicago police union has asked its members not to go along with the city’s vaccine mandate. Chicago Fraternal Order of Police leader John Catanzara said there could be half as many cops this weekend due to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate.
In late Aug., Mayor Lightfoot announced that employees of Chicago would be forced to get vaccinated against covid.
“As cases of coronavirus keep going up, we must take all actions we can to keep everyone in our city healthy and safe,” Lightfoot said in a comment. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to get that and recover from this pandemic. And so, we have chosen to join with other governments across the country, including the United States military, who are deciding to protect the people and keep our country moving. We must also be in close communication with our partners in the labor movement to form a vaccination policy that is both doable and effective.”
This week, Chicago leaders included an option for employees of the city to submit to being tested twice per week at their own expense to bypass the mandate through the year.
As of October 15, any city employees who has not gotten vaccinated or submitted to semi-weekly testing or not approved for a medical or religious exemption will be put on no-pay status.
Lightfoot threatened, “There must be consequences if people are not going along with this policy by the October 15th deadline.”
Catanzara – the president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 – challenged the mayor’s vaccine mandate and asked Chicago officers to go against the order. He said city officials have not “bargained in good faith about this subject.”
“It is a clear drive to force officers using a ‘chicken little, the sky is falling,’ into going along with this – don’t fall for it. Hold the line,” Catanzara stated.
Catanzara said lawyers for the police union have already created a class-action grievance to deal with “everything under the sun” that officers might lose if they go against the mandate.
Catanzara said he would go into no-pay status this Friday in solidarity with his unvaccinated police officers.
Author: Blake Ambrose