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Amid Pay Freezes, Jesse White Gives Raises

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Amid Pay Freezes, Jesse White Gives Raises
Amid Pay Freezes, Jesse White Gives Raises

Meredith Gregory

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

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In the past year, Secretary of State Jesse White gave raises to all of his executive staffers, according to payroll data.

That probably doesn't sit so well with state workers angry at Gov. Pat Quinn over recent raise cuts for nearly 30,000 employees. Or the nearly 625 Chicago workers receiving pink slips sometime this week from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

During a 12 month-long period ending May 31, White gave 4 percent and then 2 percent raises to about 250 non-union workers, according to Crain's Chicago Business. Most of them were policymakers, supervisors or their clerical assistants, the publication reports.

White's spokesman told Crain's the raises were necessary to keep executives' pay even with union workers following pay freezes. The raises were paid for by cutting out-of-town travel expenses and cell bills, according to the spokesman.

The news follows thousands of state workers picketing last week against Quinn's decision to cut $75 million in raises from the budget. Workers grabbed signs ahead of the scheduled mass-protest, shouting, "Fair pay now."

But Quinn continues to maintain the cuts weren't his fault, and that the General Assembly didn't appropriate any extra money for raises.
 
For Emanuel's part, the mayor said Friday union leaders didn't embrace his proposed concessions to cut $30 million from the budget. He warned the layoffs would come if changes weren't made.

“I have deep gratitude and respect for the thousands of men and women who work for our city, and my door will always be open to their representatives,” Emanuel said in a statement released Friday. “But the goal of city government cannot be to employ as many people as possible."

Labor leaders called the move perplexing and disappointing
. They're expected to meet with the city on Monday.

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