Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city workers who defy vaccine mandate will face 'consequences'

Chicago police union says it has negotiated 'temporary reprieve' from mandate for officers
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The hammer is about to come down on city workers who defy Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Chicago vaccine mandate.

Friday is the last day to get a final shot in order to be fully vaccinated by the October 15th deadline.

"There will be consequences if people are not complying with what the policy is by October 15th," Lightfoot said Friday.

City workers are required to send in a copy of their proof of vaccination by the 15th, but the mayor stopped short of saying they would be fired if they don't. The city continues to negotiate with labor unions.

SEE ALSO | Group of Chicago aldermen want mandatory COVID vaccines for public spaces

After a lengthy session with police, the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the rank-and-file, put out a statement announcing it had negotiated a temporary reprieve in the mandate. The union wrote in a social post: "The Oct 15th deadline, for now, will only deal with an addition of a testing protocol for anyone not vaccinated....There will be no one going into a no pay status on the 15th because of the deadline."

The union claims the testing option would last at least through the end of the year.

The mayor reinforced that the vaccine mandate is real for all city employees.

"We're not going to retreat from that week. Want to make sure that our workplace as safe as possible for those who are coming to work every day, and the only way that we can do that is by getting people vaccinated," Lightfoot said.

One city employee told us he got vaccinated this summer, and doesn't have a problem with the requirement now facing his colleagues.

"If you decide not to then... I knew you had to deal with whatever the consequences of rules, regulations are," city worker Wilson Rodriguez said.

But six aldermen sent a letter to the mayor's office voicing their opposition to the vaccine requirement.

"We just think it's wrong, we've been talking about this for a while, we thought this mandate was wrong, especially with the labor unions, without negotiating it," said Ald. Nick Sposato, 38th Ward.

Lightfoot said negotiation with the Unions will continue. She is hoping people will voluntarily comply so that workers will not have to face disciplinary action.
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