May 25, 2012

Mayor Emanuel and City Agencies Detail Variety of Work Rules Agreements with Labor Unions to Save $40 Million by 2016

Cooperation With Labor Taking Place Throughout City Increasing Efficiency, Saving Resources and Creating Jobs

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel today outlined a series of work rule agreements made between city departments and labor unions that will result in savings of nearly $40 million by 2016.

“From the moment I took office, I challenged our workers to find new ways to compete and provide services at a more efficient, cost-effective rate,” said Mayor Emanuel. “They have answered that call and are working with our city departments to save taxpayer money and find new efficiencies. We will continue to look for new efficiencies throughout the city.

The major deal is the recently announced creation of a new position with Laborers 1001, which allows the Department of Streets and Sanitation additional flexibility and a lower rate of pay for incoming employees. This deal will save $30 million by 2016.


  • Laborers 1001 and 76 have agreed to establish training programs for new hires with break-in rates similar to an apprenticeship program, which will save $1 million.
  • The Cement Masons union changed their overtime structure from double-time to time-and-a-half, which will save $180,000 for CDOT.
  • The Hoisting Engineers, who work with all of the infrastructure related departments, have changed their overtime structure so that seasonal hires will receive time-and-a-half instead of double-time for their first four years, saving $500,000.
  • Finally, Laborers 1092 has announced an apprenticeship program with the Department of Water Management that establishes a two-year apprenticeship program that will: hire 75 apprentices in 2012, and a total of 225 apprentices over six years; reduce City costs through tiered break-in rates during the apprenticeship period; allow for workforce flexibility by establishing seasonal status; and provide four 2-3 week training periods (using City-developed curriculum) during the course of the apprenticeship, with all training funded by the union.

Additionally, a work rule change adopted by the Plumbers and Bricklayers will not have immediate financial savings but will allow the City more flexibility in retaining staff: each union will establish seasonal positions.


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