A Cook County Judge on Monday suspended Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s December 31 deadline for Chicago police officers to be vaccinated against Covid.
As TGP reported, Chicago upped its battle with police officers over the mandated COVID vaccine, issuing a statement recently threatening the retirement benefits of officers who opt to retire from the force rather than submit to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s COVID vaccine mandate and reporting system.
Lightfoot ordered back in August that all city employees must be vaccinated by October 15. The deadline was later modified, after objections by the police union, to the end of the year but with a proviso that unvaccinated workers submit to twice-weekly testing at their own expense. All workers must report their vaccine status through an online portal starting this Friday or face being put on no-pay status.
The Associated Press reported:
A judge on Monday suspended a Dec. 31 deadline for Chicago police officers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but didn’t interfere with a requirement that they be regularly tested.
Disputes over vaccinations should be handled as a labor grievance with an arbitrator, Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell said.
“The effect of this order is to send these parties back to the bargaining table and to promote labor peace by allowing them to pursue” remedies under Illinois law, Mitchell said.
The grievance process could last months, the city said last week.
Officers who haven’t been vaccinated still must be tested twice a week under city policy. Officers also can lose work and pay if they don’t disclose their vaccine status.
In the meantime Indiana is recruiting Chicago cops disgruntled by Lightfoot’s Covid vaccine mandate.