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Chicago police threatening lawsuit if not granted same parental leave as teachers

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(The Center Square) – Leaders of the union representing Chicago police are urging Mayor Brandon Johnson for more paid time off and will pursue legal action if not granted.

In June, Johnson and Chicago Public Schools officials announced that school employees would get up to 12 weeks of paid paternity leave.

That move has resulted in CPD wanting the same amount of paternal leave. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara said he would take the city to court over the issue.

“He [Johnson] could do the right thing today. He could have done it yesterday when I talked to his chief of staff. That did not happen,” Catanzara said. “We are going to explore every possibility about taking this mayor to court. We will present testimony, very emotional testimony from members who have been affected and have not been afforded the ability to bond with their children over the last six months.”

Catanzara continued by calling out Johnson for his lack of respect toward the police.

“He had several weeks now to do the right thing and grant parental leave to our members. He claims this should have never been a collective bargaining right and that it is just the morally right thing to do, which is why he did it for the teachers,” Catanzara said. “Apparently, there is no morally right thing to do when it comes to police officers in this city.”

Chicago Alderman Chris Taliaferro, D-4th, a former CPD sergeant, told The Center Square that he supports the idea and hopes to have the city council discuss it further.

“The same merit that the mayor expressed with the Chicago Public School teachers certainly would be worth us looking into as a city council,” Taliaferro said. “I would support further discussion on it.”

Even if parental leave is granted, Taliaferro said several issues still need to be addressed.

“There is a lot of impact that is involved,” Taliaferro said. “Whether it’s fiscal impact or manpower impact. I don’t know how many folks will be allowed to be on leave at the same time in one district.”

Johnson has not commented on the matter.

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