The Baltimore police union told its officers Friday not to reveal their coronavirus vaccine status due to the city’s lack of communication.
“It is understandable that our members have questions about a policy with so little information being provided by the city. Until the city responds to our right to bargain these issues, or the courts intervene, I suggest you do nothing in regard to revealing your vaccination status as it is outlined in the city’s policy,” Sgt. Mike Mancuso, president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 3, said in the letter to members.
Mancuso said his group has been trying to talk to the city for weeks about its “various, and very obvious, issues with their vague policy.”
“FOP3 believes that there are multiple collective bargaining issues that surround the city’s vaccination policy. We have made multiple attempts to sit down and discuss these issues to no avail,” he said.
There is a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, two days after the policy is set to take place. The union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Office of the Labor Commissioner and will be taking legal action to delay the implementation of the mandate.
Although he said not to follow the city's mandate, Mancuso said the union will ultimately support whatever decision a member makes in whether they provide their vaccination status to the city.
“Labor Commissioner Deborah Moore-Carter led a productive meeting this afternoon with the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police and their attorney, Commissioner Michael Harrison, and representatives from the City’s Law Department and Human Resources to discuss concerns over the vaccination mandate,” Calvin Harris, the spokesperson for Mayor Brandon Scott, said a statement to The Hill.
“We will remain in close contact with the FOP until a solution is reached, and we are hopeful it will,” Harris added.
It is unclear if the meeting happened before the letter was sent, or if the meeting was scheduled before the letter was sent.
Police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge told The Baltimore Sun that 64 percent of the department’s 3,000 employees are vaccinated with the mandate to have city employees vaccinated set to start Monday.
There has been a battle around the country between city vaccine mandates and police with Chicago suing its police union for refusing to comply with the mandate.
The Hill has reached out to Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 for comment.