Vote on furlough days postponed

May 13, 2009 4:59:25 AM PDT
A mandatory furlough plan could impact many Chicago city workers. The city council postponed a vote Wednesday on a measure requiring 14 furlough days for non-union workers. It would also put pressure on unions.

In addition to three unpaid days off those non-union workers are already taking this year, the time off would equal a loss in 6 percent of their pay. But it will help close the city's $300 million deficit.

Because of safety, the mayor is not asking police or firefighters to take days off, but what about the mayor and his staff?

"Report it that I took all the furlough days. All my staff took their furlough days. This is without pay, without pay. I have always done it. I hope you would do it for your company. I did it last year," Daley said.

The additional furlough days do not include the remaining 90 percent of Chicago's union contract work force, which also includes sworn police officers and firefighters. But the city says if unions don't start taking additional furlough days, 1,600 unionized city workers face layoffs.

"If we were to go along with some of this, would it save the 1,600 jobs and how long would we save them and how long would the agreement be for?" said Dennis Gannon, Chicago Federation of Labor.

If the city council approves this furlough plan, there could be major pressure on the unions. The mayor says and the city says it has to find a way to fill a big budget shortfall.


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