Chicago mayor reiterates consequences for unvaccinated city workers as vaccine deadline approaches

12 Chicago aldermen called on Lightfoot to end disciplinary action against unvaccinated city workers
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago aldermen are calling on the city to end disciplinary action against unvaccinated city workers.

Under the current Chicago mandate, firefighters, police officers and other city workers face discipline or even termination if they don't comply by March 13.

Its decision time for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City of Chicago.

With a vaccine mandate deadline approaching, a group of aldermen are pushing back, asking the mayor to reconsider the consequences for unvaccinated city workers.

READ FULL LETTER FROM ALDERMEN

"Because of the mayor's vaccine mandate were gonna see a quarter of our Chicago Police Department laid off come Monday March 13," said Ald. Silvana Tabares, 23rd Ward.

Ald. Tabares is one of 12 to sign this letter saying, "The city's pursuit of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the quality of life in our city."

Right now, ABC7 data shows roughly 87% workers are vaccinated, while 12% are still not vaccinated.

RELATED: Chicago vaccine mandate: City workers will need to get COVID-19 shot, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says

"We want the mayor to take into account natural immunity for previous infection before she terminates or disciplines any city worker," Tabares said.

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters yet another phase, these 12 aldermen want the city to be on the same page to not take away any city employees from public safety resources.

"Skyrocketing crime and criminals are emboldened than ever before, and residents in my ward do not want to see less police officers patrolling the neighborhoods," Tabares said.

Tabares said the 12 aldermen also want transparency within the handling of vaccine exemptions for city workers, saying almost all of them were denied.

RELATED: Chicago mask and vaccine mandate to lift for some in line with state's plan

The aldermen are expecting a response from the mayor Friday and are willing to hold a special council meeting if there is no change.

The mayor released a statement Friday.

"Employees who fail to comply with the City's vaccination policy will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no pay status until they come into compliance with the policy. All City employees, including Chicago Police Officers, who fail to comply may also face disciplinary action, up to and including termination. These decisions will be addressed at an individual and department level, and are being undertaken in a manner that will not impact public safety or the continuity of everyday government operations. Union-covered and career service employees are entitled to appeal a termination. For some of those employees, the hearing is with the Human Resources Board, for others it will take place with an arbitrator. At-will employees can be terminated at will."
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