After the possibility for furloughs ended a day earlier, adding another $31 million to the city's budget hole, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday announced two ways he's saving the city $20 million. The remaining $11 million requires cooperation with the city's labor unions.
No layoffs were mentioned Friday morning as Mayor Rahm Emanuel talked through his plan for $20 million in budget savings.
Instead, Emanuel announced two plans, each projected to save $10 million through the next six months.
The first abandons plans to fill 150 to 200 job vacancies throughout various city departments. The second expands a city health care clinic pilot program currently operating at two of the city's seven facilities in Uptown and Englewood. Going forward, all seven of the clinics will operate under a partnership with federally-qualified community health centers.
The remaining $11 million gap created by Thursday's expiration of the two-year furlough deal requires action and cooperation by the city's labor unions, Emanuel said.
"If we make the workplace reforms, or a portion of them, and agree on them, we can save workers their jobs," the mayor said. "I am not interested in laying off the 625. It's a choice we have to make collectively."
In a joint statement, two labor union leaders said they are "working diligently to develop cost saving ideas on behalf of their members, city residents and taxpayers."
Jorge Ramirez, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, and Tom Villanova, the president of the Chicago & Cook County Building Trades Council, said they hope to present their ideas to Emanuel "in the coming weeks."
Emanuel warned earlier this week the jobs of hundreds of workers may be at stake if unions didn't accept the work-rule changes laid out in the plan.
Emanuel made it clear he won't extend a two-year furlough deal between former Mayor Richard Daley and some Chicago unions. He said the 24 unpaid days off hurt employee morale and haven't lived up to projected savings.
According to most contracts, Emanuel would have to give employees 30 days' notice if he plans to lay them off.