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Mayor Emanuel Happy to Hear from Unions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Without seeing a report by labor leaders identifying $200 million in savings, Emanuel said he welcomes the report. (Published Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011)

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday that he welcomes a report from city labor leaders that purports to save $200 million through efficiencies, and agrees there's too much budget fat around middle management.

    He's eager to take a look at their ideas.

    Labor Leaders Meet With City Over Layoffs

    [CHI] Labor Leaders Meet With City Over Layoffs
    Local union leaders talk about their first meeting with the city since Mayor Emanuel announced layoffs of 625 workers. (Published Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011)

    "First of all, I haven't seen the report .. but I look forward to seeing it.  I'm happy that labor now is putting forward their ideas." Emanuel said a morning press conference. "I welcome the report."

    Union leaders said last week they felt blindsided by Emanuel's decision to cut 625 union jobs as a cost savings move. Emanuel said he was forced into the postion because labor leaders wouldn't agree to work rule changes, but leaders said there was no discussion about them.

    Labor Responds to Mayor's Layoff Notices

    [CHI] Labor Responds to Mayor's Layoff Notices
    Chicago Federal of Labor President Jorge Ramirez on Friday accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel of pouring "gasoline" on a fire by sending out layoff notices to 625 city employees. (Published Friday, Jul 15, 2011)

    Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said such changes would be up to individual unions and couldn't be negotiated en masse. Sources also say negotiations have only just begun.

    "We have a new mayor we are doing our best to show partnership," Ramirez said.

    RAW: Emanuel Makes His Case for Layoffs

    [CHI] RAW: Emanuel Makes His Case for Layoffs
    The mayor says he gave labor leaders options and time to help shore up a budget. When they didn't respond, he had no choice but to cut. (Published Friday, Jul 15, 2011)

    Emanuel wants movement on how unions mete out overtime pay. Union workers, he said, were paid double time while private sector workers only recieve time-and-a-half for overtime.That facet could save some of the jobs he threatened to cut, Emanuel said.

    "If every union agrees  to overtime and not double time, that's  worth hundreds of jobs," Emanuel said.

    Labor leaders counter that cost savings can be found in middle management. Emanuel agrees.

    "They're right," the mayor said. "So I agree with that. But that doesn't take away from every other part of the budget that needs to be scrutinized. ... My view is, I'm for middle management savings and I've already done about $20 million of that."

    He still wants work rule changes, and unions say they might not be able to comply.