Vax deadline passes for city of Chicago employees, memo urges cops to upload status into portal
CHICAGO - Life is starting to feel a bit more normal, but if you are a city of Chicago employee, you still have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The deadline to receive your first dose was Sunday, and today, an internal message to all Chicago police officers.
The document urged Chicago Police Department employees to upload their vaccination status into the online portal.
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Those who are unvaccinated and have not submitted exemption papers may be "placed into a non-disciplinary, no pay status until they have come into compliance," per the City of Chicago’s vaccination policy.
The Chicago police union has tried suing the city, but an arbitrator sided with the city that now states COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement of employment.
A group of alderman are now calling for a Wednesday special City Council meeting to propose adding a "natural immunity" option to the vaccine mandate.
"That impacts public safety, our ability to answer 911 calls, our ability to deliver city services," said Alderman Raymond Lopez of the 15th Ward. "The mayor is using the same metrics she did at the very beginning of this pandemic. We've seen an evolution of science as we learn more about the virus and antibodies."
Monday night the FOP president says the city is giving those whom are unvaccinated a little more time.
"The option they are giving people right now, and this is how they are keeping officers on the street, they are giving you a grace period if you do not have a vaccination exemption or you did get a vaccine they are going to give you a 7 day window to schedule a vaccination," said FOP President John Catanzara in a social media post.
City data shows there are 2,367 unvaccinated CPD employees with 30 under no-pay status. Within the Chicago Fire Department, there are 19 unvaccinated workers now receiving a no pay status.
"We're not doing mass firings today, which is what I think a lot of folks have been propagating. That's not going to happen," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
"We're looking at the numbers. We were starting to see last week and over the weekend a number of people going to the portal and reporting that in fact, they were vaccinated. We continue to see that and I expect to continue to seeing that."