Council votes for more furlough days

June 30, 2009 12:05:22 PM PDT
Chicago's City Council has voted to force non-union city workers to take a set of furlough days. Chicago's aldermen bitterly argued about implementing furlough days or calling for layoffs, but in the end, they voted 42-6 to support the furlough package.

Many aldermen said they want unions to show flexibility and willingness to sacrifice to avoid mass layoffs. Some alderman claim furloughs will save the city $100 million.

The council vote Tuesday impacts the city's non-union workers. Negotiations continue with the unions.

The decision impacts 3,700 non-union workers, saving more than $14 million, according to the mayor's office. All six remaining holidays in 2009 will be unpaid - Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Six further furlough days, one per month, will also be mandated.

Those making less than $35,000 will be exempt from having to take those final six days.

The city had already approved three furlough days earlier this year, bringing the total to 15 furlough days for many workers.