Tuesday, June 30, 2009

City Council Approves Furlough Days

Via Chicago Breaking News:
Non-union city workers will have to take 15 unpaid days off before the end of the year after the Chicago City Council today overwhelmingly approved Mayor Richard Daley's budget-cutting move.

The 42-6 vote in favor came after many aldermen argued that it's better for city workers to take some furlough days than lose their jobs.
"We really don't have the luxury of delaying this action any further," said Ald. Edward Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee. "I don't think we have much choice."

The measure will affect about 10 percent of city workers. Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) said the move was necessary to push labor unions that represent the other 90 percent to also take furlough days.

"We have to show we're serious," Shiller said.

If the unions don't agree to concessions, Daley has warned that he would lay off more than 1,500 employees. Continue Reading


  1. What a bunch of bull. The non-union city workers are the ones that do all the work that the union people refuse to do. If we got rid of more union jobs, we would be so much more efficient. I wouldn't have to wait 4 months to have a lightbulb changed.

  2. I also want to say that is was funny to see some other aldermen rip into Shiller today.

  3. MG what do you mean "rip into Shiller?" What happened?

  4. There was an alderman that RIPPED into Shiller today, it was so funny. You can check it out I think at the City Clerk's Website, I think. The alderman who was ripping on her was defending the Budget Department. Basically said, why don't you do some work once in awhile, and you will have your information.

    They are so CLUELESS!!

    Most City managers try to solve problems, just want everyone out there to know. Don't believe what you read in the press. Non-union workers for the City make the City work, but we are generally unprotected by unions, and subject to political whims.

    We say "lets get the job done."

  5. MCG,

    I've had some of those proffesional rake leaners working on block this week. Its hard life spending your day leaning on a rake and reading the paper.

  6. I think we really don`t need alderman. That would save plenty for the city. What do the alderman really do and provide for the residents in their wards except spend money on projects we have no say over anyway. The non-union workers do all the dirty work and get the dirty end of this deal.....

  7. I'm pretty sure it was Alderman Carrie Austin that was ripping into Shiller and River North's Brendan Reilly too.

    FWIW I thought what Shiller said made sense - if I understood it - First, the unions have to get onboard with furlough days or there will be big layoffs, and second, if the City burns through the cash reserve (aka rainy day fund) from the Skyway and Parking Meter deals it will kill the City's bond rating and the City (i.e. us) will all pay a lot more in interest for years to come.

    The scariest thing I heard on the video feed were the aldermen who think the City will be way more than $300,000,000.00 in the budget hole by the end of the year.

  8. She's trying to nudge the city's union workers into taking 15 unpaid days off, but has been pushing the private sector union workers to work unlimited overtime (nights, evenings, early mornings, weekends) to get the low-income housing at Wilson Yard done.

    Nice and consistent, Helen.

    That's the problem with the city in a nutshell. All the funds that should be going to schools, city services, and city workers are being siphoned off into TIFS, which have no oversight. So it's cool to pay Walsh union workers unlimited TIF (city) funds, while the city union workers get to take lots of unpaid vacation.

    It's just nauseating.

  9. It would appear that when the city is 300 million short on its budget it might be a good time to look into TIF spending and how much tax dollars are drained from the budget each year. If I was a city worker being asked to take 3 weeks off unpaid I would be screaming about it to anyone who would listen.

  10. Uptown Vegetarian,
    Unfortunately, the TIF funds, after a certain amount of time are untouchable by anyone except Daley, he has sole discretion to spend them as he sees fit after a certain amount of time. And unfortunately, he is sitting on a lot of them for funding for the construction for the Olympics.

    As a non-Union, way underpaid as is and now unsure how I will pay my bills the rest of the year, worker, I have been screaming about this, but it has fallen on deaf ears repeatedly. There's nothing my bosses can do, they are all getting hit with 15 days as well, and the alderman all have other jobs that pay them as well, so even though they are taking a hit, they don't really care that much. I have even asked if I can get another job to help fill the gap and due to the line of work I am in and the hours that I work, I cannot. It sucks.

    I really do appreciate to see that my Uptown neighbors actually understand that most non-union workers for the City really work very hard, despite the media's portrayal of all City workers. The way we all get lumped in together by the media is an additional slap in the face.

  11. having problem finding clip showing the beast taking the heat from other beast. any way of posting it?

  12. Last year Santa Daley gave me furlough and layoff. It was the Christmas gift that kept on giving. I'll never forget it!

  13. If only the system weren't so corrupt, we wouldn't have such a budget shortfall. But, alas, this is Chicago, The City That "Works". Except now it works two weeks less...

  14. TSN - FYI - I doubt Walsh is getting any 'unlimited TIF funds' to work overtime. As far as I understand the contract was a lump sum - no adds for working harder and faster. Going fast just helps them, unfortunatley it helps Shiller get her dream in the process.

  15. So J, what would motivate Walsh Construction (which contributed $1000 to Helen in 2008) to spend money on overtime?