Lightfoot says 'they will be vaccinated' as Chicago police union fights mandate
CHICAGO - The Fraternal Order of Police said the city of Chicago has not officially issued a formal mandate for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
"As of now, the City has not issued a formal mandate. Only draft proposals have been presented by each side," said FOP President John Catanzara Jr. "As of today, any compliance with the self-reporting vaccination portal is strictly VOLUNTARY."
The mayor set a deadline for reporting vaccine status by Oct. 15.
The unions said they would continue to negotiate and bargain with the city on the topic of issuing a vaccine mandate.
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Catanzara said he anticipates the city to maintain the Oct. 15 date for reporting vaccine status only.
"There will likely be a testing option available for a period of time, after implementation of the policy, through the end of the year at least," said Catanzara.
Catanzara said the unions are committed to "exhausting all options to protect our members rights."
Another meeting is expected to take place next week, but no specific date has been set just yet.
During an unrelated news conference Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the following in response to the vaccine mandate.
"Every employee in the City of Chicago has to be vaccinated. I haven’t gotten the full reading from the meeting today, but it is foolish that we buried four police officers who have died of COVID. We just last week memorialized their stars at CPD headquarters. Seen the grief of these families who are devastated by the loss of their family members. The fact that we know the number one cause of 2020 of law enforcement was Covid-19 nothing else. When in this city we have people in the hospitals in ICU rooms clinging on for their lives, many of them are law enforcement officers that are unvaccinated. It is foolish, foolish to be trying to take a victory lap when so much is at stake. Unfortunately, that is in-keeping with the leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police. They will be vaccinated. "