Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the city’s Fraternal Order of Police is attempting to “induce an insurrection” by opposing vaccine mandate.
Chicago police are under threat of being fired, losing retirement benefits, time off if they don’t follow Mayor Lightfoot’s order to vaccinate.
Most recently, officers have been stripped of their police powers and pay after they refused to report their vaccine status.
The Chief of the Police Order, President John Catanzara is not an anti vaxer, as he stated that he was vaccinated, he is just in favor of personal medical choices based on individual medical advice.
Lawenforcement Today further reported Catanzara stance:
“I’ve made my status very clear as far as the vaccine, but I do not believe the city has the authority to mandate that to anybody, let alone that information about your medical history and change the terms of employment so to speak on the fly.”
Catanzara has warned Chicago could be forced to get by this weekend with a police force of “50% or less” if the mayor follows through on her threat to place employees who fail to report their vaccination status by Friday on “non-disciplinary, no-pay status.”
Mayor Lightfoot said the city would take the weekend to review which officers complied with the order before taking action. She said she did not expect to place any officers on unpaid leave until next week and said officers should continue reporting for duty unless told otherwise:
“No employee should abandon their post. Not showing up creates a whole other set of issues for them.”
One officer spoke out:
“Unfortunately you cannot give me a direct order that is outside of my collective bargaining rights,” a female officer said. “She may think it’s for the greater good, unfortunately, each individual is in charge of their own life and their own health.” abcChicago reports. “I never thought we would ever get to a place that I would feel it mandatory to walk away based on someone telling me what to do with my health,” the officer said.
One judge ruled in favor of Lightfoot but did not order the police to leave the job. Temporary restraining orders have been issued until the issues are resolved.
Statement from Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
Mayor’s Press Office 312.744.3334
Yesterday, at my direction the City of Chicago’s law department filed a Complaint for Injunctive Relief against the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 and its President John Catanzara for engaging in, supporting, and encouraging a work stoppage or strike.
As Chicago’s Mayor, I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders. President Catanzara has time and again deliberately misled our police officers by lying about the requirements of the policy and falsely claiming that there will be no repercussions if officers are insubordinate and refuse to follow a City and Department directive or order. Notably Catanzara has urged officers to reject the City’s vaccine policy and has repeatedly instructed police officers to refuse to comply with the City’s lawful directive which requires all City employees to report their COVID 19 vaccination status by October 15. By doing so, and by predicting that 50% or more officers will violate their oaths and not report for duty, Catanzara is encouraging an unlawful strike and work stoppage which carries the potential to undermine public safety and expose our residents to irreparable harm, particularly during an ongoing pandemic.
This action is brought pursuant to the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and Illinois common law which prohibits sworn officers from engaging in a strike. Additionally, the City and the FOP are parties to a collective bargaining agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of employment including Article 5 which includes a No Strike Commitment.
“If we suspect the numbers are true and we get a large number of our members to stand firm on their beliefs that this is an overreach and they’re not going to supply the information in the portal or submit to testing, then it’s safe to say the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50 percent or less for this weekend coming up.
“That is not because of the FOP; that is 100 percent because of the mayor’s unwillingness to budge from her hard line.” Lawenforcement today quoted the President of the FOP.
For a deeper dive visit Lawenforcement Today