Mayor Decides Against Privatizing City's 311 Call Center | NBC Chicago
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Mayor Decides Against Privatizing City's 311 Call Center

More than 36 aldermen voiced their concern about the jobs that would be lost if the call center was privatized, prompting Emanuel to shelve the proposal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    With just one week to go until City Council votes on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget plan, aldermen are haggling over the details in an attempt to pass a budget they favor. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015)

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to put on hold a proposal to privatize the city's 311 call center after several aldermen complained during Wednesday's City Council meeting.

    More than 36 aldermen voiced their concern about the jobs that would be lost if the call center was privatized, prompting Emanuel to shelve the proposal.

    The proposal was part of the mayor's budget plan, which included a massive property tax hike and a tax on e-cigarettes, among other things. If the call center were to be privatized, residents calling to complain about rats or report potholes would speak to employees of a private company instead of city workers, as they do now.

    The move would have saved taxpayers "a million dollars each year," Emanuel said during his budget address last month.

    Opponents, including many 311 operators, said the outsourcing would be "harmful and wrong." Among those who complained was the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents dozens of workers at the call center. They cited the added burden of training new employees and the loss of jobs to the city as negative side effects of the privatization.

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