City Employees Hold Their Own Against Contractors
By Chris Bentley in News on Oct 20, 2011 6:00PM
Photo by Steve Koo Photography
Apparently heeding Emanuel’s call for a “paradigm shift,” city workers showed up early, revised routes and volunteered to use fewer trucks when possible. And not one called in sick.
The six-month contest began two weeks ago amid debate that the Mayor’s “managed competition” amounted to privatizing city jobs. Emanuel lit a fire under labor leaders, calling on union workers to prove their value against private sector competitors by cutting costs in city services that also include towing, tree-trimming and street marking.
Emanuel’s proposed 2012 city budget also includes a switch from a ward-by-ward to a grid system for collection. The recycling bout is largely a precursor to a higher stakes battle for the city’s trash pickup. The Mayor has previously noted that Chicago spends as much as $230 per ton to pick up garbage, compared to about $100 in Los Angeles and well under $100 elsewhere.