November 24, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Since our last update and after our General Membership meeting on Sunday there have been some developments in our case against the City of Chicago on their COVID Policy.
As most of you already know we filed grievances, and worked our way through the Circuit Court system to try and have a judge grant us a TRO, Temporary Restraining Order, and Preliminary Injunction in Aid of Arbitration, to stop the City from further imposing their COVID policy and changes to their Sick Leave Addendum that was issued in March until we can have our case heard in arbitration.
We petitioned the Court to have our requests assigned to Judge Mitchell, the Judge in the FOP case, unfortunately that was denied. We were then assigned to Judge Horan, the Judge who ruled against the FOP in another case, so we asked for another Judge, which was Judge Conlon, she recused herself because of a possible conflict of interest and we finally ended up in front of Judge Cohen this past Friday morning. Our case was presented to him on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday we received information that the Fire Fighters Union, who filed very similar requests, were denied.
This morning we received Judge Cohen’s order and we, along with the other 22 Unions, were denied our motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction in Aid of Arbitration.
What that essentially means now is that we will proceed with the arbitration without the Court’s protection of the City implementing the December 31, 2021 vaccination or leave date.
Our attorney’s will be asking the arbitrator to freeze that date until he does rule on the case but again there is no guarantee he will do so. Regardless, we are going to arbitration and we are going to present the best case possible and will not be forced into a rushed arbitration in order to meet the City’s agenda.
As arbitration dates and more information becomes available, we will share it with everyone.
We have posted a copy of Judge Cohen’s order on our app if you care to read it. Now more than ever all of us, vaxed or not, need to stand together and support each other in what looks to be a very long and trying end to 2021.
We’re Stronger Together, We’re Union and We Ain’t Going Nowhere!
Bob Chianelli – Business Manager