The deadline for Chicago’s new vaccine term is Friday, raising concerns for some leaders as the standoff between the city and some first responders reaches a crunch.
Here’s what you need to know about the debate and what has happened so far.
What is the requirement?
By city rules, city workers who are not vaccinated on Fridays must get tested twice a week on their time and expense until the end of the year, when they will need to be vaccinated. . Any employee who does not comply with these requirements is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
City officials said it was not necessary to enter detailed medical information – only vaccination status and proof of vaccination.
“There is information online indicating that people are being asked to upload private medical records, extensive medical history, DNA samples – none of this is true,” the department commissioner said. Chicago Public Health, Dr. Allison Arwady.
The city has a similar COVID-19 vaccine requirement for city school workers, which the Chicago Teachers Union has supported.
City officials say employees who violate the mandate, filling out information on a health portal set up by the health department, will be designated as unpaid non-disciplinary status.
What is the concern?
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara urged union members not to adhere to the city’s term of office, raising concerns from some over personnel issues ahead of the weekend. -end.
âThis is an inappropriate order. It’s illegal, “he said.” I don’t care if it’s Superintendent (David) Brown. If someone orders you to enter the portal, refuse that order, “he said. -he declares.
The dispute and the possibility of the department being understaffed come at a difficult time for the city, which has seen an increase in car hijackings and highway shootings and more homicides so far this year than those recorded at the same time last year.
What does the city say?
Chicago police officers will not be ordered to return home if they defy the city’s requirement to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status or be placed on unpaid leave, police chiefs said Thursday. and the mayor of Chicago.
âNo one will be turned away,â Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern said. “The agents will be working their normal shifts this weekend (and) they will not be turned away or sent home … The agents will continue to come to work until they are told otherwise (and) they are not. are no longer on sale. “
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said employees would not be designated as unpaid non-disciplinary status for several days.
“I expect people who have taken an oath to serve and protect the city to honor that oath and show up, report to work and comply with a city directive law and police department order.” Lightfoot told reporters Thursday. “Anything less would be insubordination.”
Although concerns remain that the police will not show up for work, the department said that will not happen this weekend.
âI can assure you that is not true. The CPD will be fully staffed and ready to protect the residents of this city, âsaid Brian McDermott, head of the Bureau of Patrol. âWe fully expect that all CPD members will abide by city policy.â
At town hall, aldermen did not seem so confident, with some encouraging Lightfoot to postpone implementation of the mandate, which the town’s police and fire unions have vowed to challenge in court.
âI don’t think people realize what could happen if hundreds of officers don’t show up for work,â Ald said. Matthew O’Shea said. “Are we prepared that several hundred first responders are not here this weekend?” “
Ald. Brian Hopkins said the public needs to be reassured that their safety will not be compromised if officers are deprived of their pay amid the vaccine mandate debate.
Here are the latest Chicago area headlines on NBC 5 Nightly Update on Thursday, October 14, 2021.
“We need to clarify, say ‘let’s take everyone on the weekend to hit the reset button on this, let the spirits calm down and let the union and administration discuss this thing’,” he said. he declares. âWe cannot ask the police to quit work, but we have to respect a vaccination mandate. We need to push and maybe add a carrot to the stick to get the police to comply. “