Chicago's main police union is continuing to tell officers to hold the line as police HQ continues summoning officers to disclose their Covid vaccination status, and placing those who don't comply on "no-pay status" while sending them home.
Just ahead of a crucial city council meeting set for Monday, Fraternal Order of Police First Vice President Michael Mette likened the continued standoff to "The Hunger Games". Mette referenced the popular dystopian novel series and movies in a social media video posted prior to the weekend, saying "Welcome to day three of 'The Hunger Games,' where we find out who the city is going to offer up as tribute."
As of the weekend it's as yet unknown precisely how many dozens or possibly many more officers have been temporarily relieved of duty, but it's been clear that city authorities have been deeply hesitant to pull the trigger on threats of mass firings, given the already understaffed police and first responder units face weekend after weekend of high crime and violent incidents, including dozens of shootings a week.
The police union is hoping that a proposal for reversing the vax status mandate order passes in a much anticipated city council vote to take place Monday:
Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara is hoping a crowd shows up to City Hall to support an ordinance that will be introduced Monday that would defy the Mayor’s city employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
"Let’s hope enough Aldermen do the right thing and push to have that ordinance enacted so this vaccine policy gets reset and negotiated like it should have been," Catanzara said.
In his most recent video, Catanzara said he hopes an ordinance that will be proposed Monday overturning Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate will pass.
The latest local reports say that at this point up to 70% of the some 12,000 member police force have revealed the vaccination status so far.
BREAKING REPORT: Local CFD First Responder says Chicago Police Department Are Now SENDING WORKERS HOME If They Don’t Get Vaccinated...— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) October 23, 2021
If Monday's ordinance passes, the reversal of Lightfoot's original mandate would mean any employee already placed on leave would receive back any missed paychecks retroactively, and the vax order would be declared "null and void".
In fresh statements, union leader Catanzara estimated that this his knowledge thus far, "Over two dozen officers held the line and disobeyed the order and went into a no-pay status."
The union is attempting to cover missed pay for resisters, also in order to encourage more: "We set up a heroes fund on the FOP website, that money will be distributed to the officers in no-pay status. We are going to figure out a calculation on how to help them out on this financial crunch they voluntarily took on our behalves,” Catanzara said.