The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Daley May Meet With City Unions

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 10, 2009 2:00PM

Mayor Daley hopes to hold a face-to-face meeting today with leaders of the unions representing Chicago city workers in an effort to stave off proposed budget-cutting layoffs. The mayor has been trying to get city workers to accept 16 unpaid furlough days and forgo paid overtime in an effort to close a budget deficit that is projected to be around $400 million.

Service Employees International Union Local 73, was recently informed that nearly 300 civilian public-safety employees will be cut from the city payroll effective July 1 if a compromise can't be reached. The layoffs would include 186 crossing guards, 67 detention aides and 40 traffic control aides, who will be replaced by Chicago police officers. "The police officers make a lot more per hour than the regular Crossing Guards, Detention Aides and Traffic Control Aides." SEIU Local 73 Secretary-Treasurer Matt Brandon said in a press release. "Anytime you're doing something like that, how do you justify it financially?" Second City Cop chimes in as well, noting that they "gained 100 officers from the inside spots, only to lose 300 to crossings, lockups and traffic patrol."

City worker unions have rejected concessions without promises to prevent layoffs in the future. "Instead of layoffs, they should use some of the $1.2 billion rainy day fund to offset” the budget shortfall, says SEIU. Second City Cop isn't feeling too good about the city's budget projections, either. "City Hall has already admitted their revenue "projections" were more than a little "optimistic." We pointed out that their budget was based on fantasy numbers from the word 'go.' Daley's 'rainy day fund' and supposedly balanced budget for the next three years is about to go boom."