More Bad News for Daley's Budget?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Aug 7, 2008 1:30PM

Just a week after seeming amenable to concessions to help the city close a projected $400 million budget hole, Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue said that his members aren't really feeling Daley's calls for cuts, which include city workers forgoing promised pay raises and accepting extra unpaid leave days. "We base what we're gonna do in the future on what we've seen happen in the past. And what we've seen in the past is a scandalous waste of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars," Donahue said, referring to the Hired Trucks scandal, city contracting and hiring fraud charges, and 14 months of contract negotiations that have stalled. In fact, Lodge Seven's third Vice President, Greg Bella, wrote in an editorial posted on the FOP's website that they "will sit down and help the mayor find solutions to the problem but not at the expense of our officers."

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But the Chicago Federation of Labor is still talking like they'll work with the mayor to close the budget hole. Unions representing city workers are willing to discuss proposals with the city, but not until they get more specific answers on the budget. "We need a better understanding of the financial picture before we’re willing to do anything. Is it $400 million or $450 million? If they [lease] the parking meters or Midway [Airport], does that do anything? These are moving targets. We need a better understanding of how we can save some jobs. They need to tell us, ‘If we do X, we’ll get Y,’" said CFL President Dennis Gannon. Labor leaders met Wednesday at Plumbers Hall to discuss proposals, but don't expect any specifics. "It would be irrational for any labor leader to stand by and watch his people get cut. We should try to preserve as many jobs as we we can. But we’re working in the dark. How can you make a deal when you don’t know what you’re dealing with?" Gannon said.

Photo by anklyosaur