The Ann Arbor Police Union is pushing back after the city wants everyone to be vaccinated
The Ann Arbor Police Union describes the vaccination mandate for city workers as illegal
The city of Ann Arbor is forcing all employees to vaccinate or quit – but the police union is pushing back.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan (FOX 2) – “We don’t want to come across as anti-Vaxxers. Most of us are vaccinated and I think we’re all safe here,” said Sean Stewart.
Stewart – president of the Ann Arbor Police Officers Association – has been vaccinated himself but says the union is against the city making the Covid vaccine mandatory for its officers or any employee.
Stewart, who is also an Ann Arbor patrol officer, says it just isn’t necessary. Officials have continuously worked on University of Michigan football games with more than 100,000 people – not to mention thousands of college kids every day, and haven’t had a positive Covid case since last April.
“The goal that the city has set itself 70 percent for every union and every employee – and we have exceeded that,” he said. “It has proven to be very successful here.”
In August, Ann Arbor’s acting city administrator, John Fournier, issued a mandate that city employees must be vaccinated by October 8, otherwise they could be fired.
It was recently postponed to November after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new state law that said public authorities couldn’t prescribe the vaccine.
“I think there is a better way than forcing people out the door,” said Stewart. “We have some great co-workers and officers. We have been through hell and back for the past year and a half. We cannot be treated that way at the moment.”
In response, Fornier sent FOX 2 this statement:
“The safety of our employees and the community is our top priority – and the best we can all do to end this pandemic is to get one of the safe, effective, and free vaccines that have been approved by the FDA. Ann Arbor will implement the strictest vaccination mandate we can by law, so we encourage all of our employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible before the mandate goes into effect. “
Sean Stewart, President of the Ann Arbor Police Union.
While legal issues are being worked out, the Ann Arbor administration negotiates with the police union to find a compromise.
About 75 percent of the base has been vaccinated, but Stewart tells us the rest are reluctant for health or religious reasons. And if there is a shortage of staff, they cannot afford to lose an officer.
FOX 2: “What if you lost someone to Covid?”
“It would be a shame it was terrible,” he said. “But I believe that the people who are left will have to make that choice.”