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Chicago Police union wins minor victory in city vaccine mandate suit

Randy Mancini 14 November 2, 2021
FILE - In this Friday, June 5, 2020 file photo Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara speaks to reporters outside the FOP lodge in Chicago. The Illinois Supreme Court says Chicago can keep all records of complaints about police officers no matter how old they are. The court ruled 6-1 on Thursday, June, 18, 2020, that state law trumps a provision of the police union's contract with the city that calls for records more than five years old to be destroyed. Catanzara was bitterly disappointed in the ruling, saying that preserving reports could hurt and haunt police officers in the city for years to come, whether or not they did anything wrong. (Tyler LaRiviere/Sun Times via AP, File)

FILE – In this Friday, June 5, 2020 file photo Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara speaks to reporters outside the FOP lodge in Chicago (Tyler LaRiviere/Sun Times via AP, File)

A police union in Chicago achieves the first victory in its litigation against the vaccine mandate imposed by city officials. In a ruling on Monday, Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell said Chicago police officers do not have to take a COVID-19 vaccine, but they do have to report their vaccination status.

“Thankfully, Judge Mitchell heard our argument that we’ve been saying all along,” stated union President John Catanzara. “This fight was about collective bargaining rights and the obligation for the city to go to the bargaining table and to arbitration.”

NEWS: Cook County judge grants Fraternal Order of Police a temporary restraining order for union members who don't comply with Chicago's December 31 vaccine requirement deadline — until their grievances can be heard through arbitration.

— Gregory Pratt (@royalpratt) November 1, 2021

This order is temporary and it only applies to members of the Fraternal Order of Police union. Catanzara said the ruling is insufficient to settle the dispute.

“That does not mean we are not gonna continue to address the concerns over the security of that portal and the information that’s provided in it that is going forward,” he continued. “We are also requesting information from the city on the exemption requests that were requested, denied by category, and the processes that we’re following to make those decisions and where everybody’s exemption requests are currently.”

The union explained that the city of Chicago may still withhold pay from non-vaccinated officers and its December 31 deadline for vaccine mandate still stands. The city has yet to provide clarifications after which the legal battle will continue.

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