October 11, 2012

Mayor Emanuel and Teamsters President John Coli Announce New Group to Evaluate Work Rules and Identify Opportunities for Savings

New City-Labor Group Will Present Solutions, New Ideas

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Teamsters President John Coli today announced a city-labor working group that will evaluate work rules and identify concrete solutions to help taxpayers save money.

“I am offering my assistance in finding common sense reforms,” said Coli. “Mayor Emanuel has ushered in a new era of government accountability and I am proud to continue as a partner in that effort.”

Coli will co-chair the working group, along with Alexandra Holt, Chicago’s budget director, who was appointed to the committee by Mayor Emanuel. 

During his budget address on Wednesday, Emanuel challenged union leaders to come to the table with their own concrete, actionable plans to achieve savings.

“My door will always be open to working together with union partners,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As long as labor is willing to be our partner, we will keep cooperating in good faith and looking for new solutions to the budget challenges that we face. I believe we can do great things together that work for the City government, work for the union employees, and most importantly, work for the taxpayers of Chicago.”

In the first 17 months since becoming mayor, Mayor Emanuel has partnered with organized labor to develop a number of innovative reforms, including:

  • Launching the largest municipal wellness program in the country, with more than 38,000 participants, as part of a partnership with more than 30 labor unions.
  • Using competitive bidding to reduce costs for recycling service and set the city on a path to city-wide recycling.
  • Moving the collection of garbage to a grid system, with the cooperation of labor unions, to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Reaching agreement with several unions to reform work rules and reduce costs at a variety of job functions across city government and sister agencies, saving crucial taxpayer resources, protecting jobs, and improving the quality of city services.
  • Negotiating key agreements at McCormick Place that have ended contentious lawsuits and dramatically improved the competitiveness of McCormick Place, resulting in more than $4 billion in new or recommitted shows.

The new committee will begin meeting immediately and will make initial recommendations within 45 days.

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