CHICAGO — As the police union and City Hall continue to wrestle over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, data shows 64% of CPD employees submitted their vaccination status by Friday’s deadline.
The mandate, which was announced in August, required all city employees to be fully vaccinated or report their vaccination status by Oct. 15. Almost 80% of city employees confirmed their status. Out of all city employees that reported their vaccine status, 84% said they are fully vaccinated.
According to a city data portal, 64.42% (8,224 out of 12,770) of Chicago police employees, sworn officers and civilians, reported their vaccination status. Of those, 6,894 responded that they are vaccinated and 1,333 responded that they are not.
According to the portal, 72.10% of Chicago Fire Department employees reported their status. Of those, 2,974 said they are vaccinated and 564 said they are not vaccinated.
Most city departments had reporting rates in the 90s.
City employees had until midnight Friday to submit their vaccination status. If they didn’t report, the city said employees will be played on no-pay status.
On Saturday, Chicago police canceled time off requests as FOP president John Catanzara and the city continued to wrestle over the mandate. Catanzara was barred from publicly commenting on the mandate in a court hearing on Friday.
A CPD memo went out to Chicago police alerting officers that they could face being fired if they don’t comply with the city’s vaccination policy.
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During a press conference Monday, Mayor Lightfoot said “a very small number” of officers have been placed on no-pay status for failing to comply. While taking questions after the press conference, Lightfoot confirmed that over 4,000 Chicago police employees did not report by the deadline.
Outside of Chicago police headquarters, around 60 officers were called in to report whether or not they were vaccinated to a supervisor.
FOP President John Catanzara said Monday none of this should be happening right now and he blames Mayor Lightfoot.
“She was at a game last night without a mask, come on — does anything think this is really about stopping the spread?” Catanzara said. “This is all about total control by this mayor, she is a miserable human being.”
Catanzara said over 3,000 rank-and-file officers have refused to report their vaccination status. He said a negotiated settlement will only come at an attributor’s table.
“We are now at the point where we are 100 percent against what they are putting forward and they are 100 percent against what we are putting forward. There is never going to be a negotiated settlement to this. The only settlement is going to be at an attributor’s table — which they have refused from day one.”
Catanzara said supervisors who took part in the process to issue the order to officers have lost respect and a divide will be created.
“(They) have literally lowered their perception within the members of this police department, Catanzara said. “A lot of them were liked and respected — because they look part in this process, their names are now mud.”
In a press conference Monday, Lightfoot refuted Catanzara’s claim that the city did not bargain in good faith.
“We get what the game is, but the bottom line is, like with every other union,” Lightfoot said. “We sat down at the table and understand what their issues were — but no one can say that we didn’t bargain in good faith.”
It’s unknown when the thousands of CPD employees who did not report their vaccination status will face disciplinary action.