Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an innovative “Transitional Return to Work” program in partnership with the local Painters District Council No. 14. This week the City signed a new agreement with the Painters union for a “Transitional Return to Work” program that allows the city government to bring employees unable to perform their original assignment due to injury on the job back to work as a Transitional Return to Work (TRTW) painter.
“I am always committed to finding innovative and productive ways to work with our labor unions to better provide city services while saving taxpayer money,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This program allows us to do both, as it returns employees to the workforce and brings outside work back in house.”
The City’s Department of Water Management contracts with outside vendors to paint fire hydrants and curbs. However, this plan will allow the City to establish a work crew of up to two TRTW painters to perform this task, instead of hiring the outside firm. This will save the city’s resources, by bringing the work back in-house, and will further allow the employees to return to the workforce more rapidly after an injury on duty.
Previously, the injured employees would have been at home recovering while outside contractors were performing the work.
The City expects that the TRTW model will be an effective tool with other city unions and will allow the City to reduce costs while returning employees to productive work.