Garbage fee a tough sell for aldermen as mayor aims for broad budget support

Chicago Sun-Times – BY FRAN SPIELMAN

To confront Chicago’s $30 billion pension crisis and eliminate the structural deficit he inherited, Emanuel’s lower-the-boom menu includes a four-year, $588 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions and school construction; a $9.50-a-month garbage collection fee to raise $62 million; $13 million in higher fees for building permits; a $1 million tax on e-cigarettes, and $48 million in fees and surcharges on taxicabs and ride-sharing services that have siphoned business away from them.

If any of the votes are going to be close, it’s the one for the garbage fee and Emanuel understands why.

Ald. George Cardenas (12th), chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Health and Environmental Protection, is so concerned about the pressure to privatize refuse collection, he has proposed a protection of sorts and predicted that Emanuel will embrace the idea: an “enterprise fund” for the Department of Streets and Sanitation similar to the water and aviation funds.

That would segregate funds generated by garbage collection and pave the way for city crews to compete with private scavenger services for the right to pick up trash at multi-unit residential buildings.

“It makes it politically palatable because it preserves jobs. The big concern that everybody has is that this is a first step toward privatization of garbage,” Cardenas said.

“You encapsulate the money in an enterprise fund and it keeps everybody in check. It also paves the way for these folks to start bidding for some of these private scavenger routes. If you want to opt into city service, let us know and you start paying. You grow the pot.”

A second term is almost certain to be Emanuel’s last. That gives him the freedom to make the tough choices and hope to go down in history as the mayor who saved Chicago.

Aldermen don’t have that luxury. Most of them need and want their jobs and have every intention of running for re-election.

Still, O’Shea said, “I will not cast my vote based on a fear of political retribution. I will cast my vote on what I think is best for the city of Chicago, what I think is best to protect the pensions of those who have done their job and paid into pensions while trying to make sure that we do not cut city services and we continue services at the level people in my community expect and deserve.”    read more……

Rauner backs off on budget prediction

By Monique Garcia, John Byrne and Rick Pearson – Chicago Tribune

The governor made that pitch again Thursday during a stop in downstate Quincy, saying a budget could be done within the next 60 to 90 days “if for no other reason that Chicago needs help.”
“I’m not going to do a bailout, but I’ll help Chicago solve its own problems by giving them the power to do it, but only if Chicago is helping us get reforms at the state,” Rauner said.
Pressed on Friday whether that meant Emanuel had promised to push his agenda in Springfield, Rauner was more cautious.

Among the issues is Rauner’s proposal to freeze property taxes while allowing local governments, including school boards, to decide what benefits are collectively bargained with teachers and other public workers. Rauner says it’s a matter of local control that would allow cities such as Chicago to drive down costs. Democratic leaders have rejected the plan, saying it’s a way to drive down middle-class wages.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday reiterated that there are parts of the governor’s agenda he can support and others he won’t.

“As I’ve said before to the governor, I’m not going to agree to right-to-work, I fundamentally, on principle, don’t agree with that, so I won’t support you,” Emanuel said in Chicago.

read more….

THE$ 58MILLION MAN

Chicago Sun-Times – BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter

Business is still booming for Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, who reported more than $ 58 million in income in 2014, according to a joint tax filing released by the governor’s office on Friday.

The Rauners reported $ 58.3 million in total income on their federal return. Their adjusted gross income was $ 57.5 million. They paid $ 15.2 million in federal taxes and $ 2.8 million in Illinois taxes, according to the filing.

The governor’s office did not release the schedules for the filing, which provide information on interest income, mortgage interest and charitable deductions. But in a news release, the governor’s office said the Rauners made $ 3.3 million in charitable contributions.

Last October, Rauner’s office released four pages of his 2013 tax return, also without the accompanying schedules. That filing revealed the Rauners took in $ 60.8 million in income, up from the $ 53.4 million they reported making in 2012. In 2011, Rauner reported $ 28.1 million in income and in 2010, $ 27.1 million.  read more…..

Emanuel: I’ve got votes to pass property tax hike

Chicago Sun-Times – BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday he has the 26 City Council votes he needs to pass a lower- the- boom budget that includes a $ 588 million property tax increase and a first- ever garbage collection fee— and he sloughed off suggestions that he may be losing his political cover.

On Friday, the mayor was asked how he plans to respond to the governor’s demand for help.

“As I’ve said before to the governor, I’m not going to agree to right- to- work. I fundamentally on principle don’t agree with it. So, I won’t support you,” the mayor said. read more….

JOB/BID OPPORTUNITY

SUPVSR OF FIELD VEHICLE INVESTIGATORS

Job Number 265693

Department:  STREETS & SANITATION
Number of Positions: 1
Under general supervision, performs and supervises Field Vehicle Investigators performing field inspections in response to requests for the removal of abandoned or hazardous vehicles from city streets, thoroughfares, and public and private lots; oversees the removal of vehicles impeding construction, special events and emergency situations; and performs related duties as required.
Location:  1717 W. Pershing
       Shift:   various
 Days Off:  will vary
Four years of work experience as a Field Vehicle Investigator OR four years of work experience in enforcing or inspecting for compliance license requirements, parking regulations, federal and state laws or local ordinances.   A valid State of Illinois Driver’s license is required.
Some proficiency in Microsoft Office including Word and Excel highly desirable 
 
NOTE:  You must provide your valid U.S. driver’s license at time of processing.

Click Here to go to the City of Chicago Bid Site

On to NLCS: Cubs finish off Cardinals at Wrigley Field

Chicago Tribune

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The Cubs clinched a postseason series at home for the first time in team history Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, topping the Cardinals 6-4 to win the National League Division Series 3-1.

The Cubs advance to the National League Championship Series, where they will play the winner of the Mets-Dodgers series, starting with Game 1 on the road Saturday.

Anthony Rizzo hit the go-ahead homer, his second in two games against Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist, on an 0-2 pitch in the sixth inning, and Kyle Schwarber added an insurance run with a towering solo shot to the top of the right-field video board in the seventh.

Javier Baez also hit a three-run homer off Cardinals starter John Lackey to help the Cubs to an early 4-2 lead.

With two runners on base and two outs in the second inning, Cubs manager Joe Maddon left starting pitcher Jason Hammel in to hit, and Hammel knocked Lackey’s first pitch up the middle for an RBI single.

Baez, filling in at shortstop for injured starter Addison Russell, then crushed a three-run homer to right field to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Entering Tuesday’s game, Baez was 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Lackey. read more….

Rauner reaffirms bid to limit public union rights

BY RICK PEARSON  – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Gov. Bruce Rauner restated his demand Wednesday that weakening the collective bargaining rights of public workers must be part of a deal to end the political stalemate that has kept Illinois without a budget since July 1.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan, who controls the Democratic majority in the chamber, renewed his long-standing call for the Republican governor to focus on the budget and not on issues that would create “a lower standard of living for middle-class families.”

Rauner repeatedly has pushed for legislation giving local governments and school districts the option of collectively bargaining with unions over wages and other working conditions. He also has pushed to end communities having to pay prevailing union wage rates to construction firms working on public projects.

Rauner also said the only way to “guarantee” saving $750 million in state worker group health insurance costs as part of a plan pushed by Democrats would be to have lawmakers vote to remove unions from negotiating health insurance coverage in collective bargaining.

The governor also touted $1 billion savings each for state and local governments if lawmakers changed public employee pensions by basing it on whether workers give up the right to have future pay hikes included in their retirement calculations.

Rauner once again said Democrats, who have supermajorities in the House and Senate, should either negotiate with him and minority Republicans or pass a tax increase and override his veto. Rauner has made union-weakening provisions in state law a precondition for considering a tax increase.

“Please choose now. Choose now. Time’s up. Let’s be reasonable. The people of Illinois have been waiting long enough,” Rauner said.  read more….

Mayfair takes 2015 Softball Championship

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After a long rainy season Mayfair wins the 16 inch softball championship.

Our hats also go out to the team from 52nd Street who played hard all the way to the end and forced a second game to decide the championship.

Mayfair took the final championship gave by a score of 13 to 2.

We would like to thank all of the teams and fans who came out for the 2015 season and hope to see everyone out here next year.

Chicago rat complaints dissected

By Jennifer Smith Richards and Rachel Crosby  – Chicago Tribune

The city plans to reassign 10 workers from the Department of Streets and Sanitation to rodent control next year to help get through a backlog of complaints and shrink the time residents wait between complaint and abatement, city spokeswoman Jennifer Martinez said this week. The workers are being freed up because of changes to the garbage pickup grid, which the mayor’s office has touted as more efficient.

“(The mayor’s) absolute goal for us in 2016 is that all of these complaints have to be answered in five days,” Martinez said.

As of last week, there were 26,600 rodent complaints logged with the Chicago 311 call system for the year, according to data kept by the city. That puts the number of calls this year on par with the past four years and signals that rodent abatement remains a significant issue for Chicago, which last year was named America’s “rattiest city” by a national pest control company.

The city’s 20 crews of two workers each respond to calls and look for evidence of rats. If they find burrows, the crews place rodenticide pellets in them and warn residents they’ve done so with nearby signs. But the crews also revisit previously baited spots to check their success and use predictive analytics to pinpoint where the next problem will be.

read more….

Emanuel garbage tax still not as high as some suburbs’ fees

By John Byrne – Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces a political minefield as he tries to charge a separate garbage collection tax on homeowners who have long considered the service part of their property taxes, but even if it’s approved, Chicagoans will be paying much less than many of their suburban counterparts.    

The mayor is asking for a $9.50-a-month fee, added to water bills. In the suburbs, some towns charge by volume for trash pickup, while others level a flat tax to help defray pickup costs that in smaller locales can make up a large portion of the annual budget. 

Garbage fees of $9.50 per month, on the other hand, will hit every residence with the same charge, even those in lower-income neighborhoods. That has prompted protests from aldermen representing neighborhoods with lower-value houses who would rather see a steeper property tax hike to cover garbage pickup costs. If that happened, those residents could be shielded from both the garbage fee and the property tax hike.    

Asked last week whether he would consider leaning more on the property tax than the garbage fee, Emanuel hewed to his statements about fixing Chicago’s financial mess.    

“I think my budget’s kinda clear what my feelings are in (the) sense that I’ve submitted a budget,” he said. “We have an obligation to right the financial ship for the city of Chicago. The aldermen did not make these problems. We inherited them. But we’re gonna right the ship financially for the city of Chicago.”  read more…..

 

 

This weeks semi-final results for 16in Softball Season

In today’s early game Mayfair beat 52nd Street by a score of 13 to 2.

In game two of today’s semi finals 39th Street defeated 34th & Lawndale by a score of 10 to 1.

And in today’s last semi-final game 52nd Street shut out 39th Street by a score of 15 to 0.

That means next week Mayfair will meet 52nd Street in the Championship game starting at noon on Saturday October 3, 2105.

We hope to see everyone out at Hayes Park for the Championship game next week.

4th Quarter Training Opportunities for DSS

Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015

Topic: Customer Service Requests (CSRs)/311 Complaints – How To Enter Them, Look Them Up, and Close Them Out; Management Reports including Alley Times

Time: 09:00 hr – 11:00 hr

Location: City Hall Room 1107

Trainer/Contact Person: John Dunn

RSVP: Email John Dunn at John.Dunn@cityofchicago.org no later than Thursday, October 8, 2015


Date: Saturday, October 17, 2015

Topic: The Basic Concepts of KRONOS/Time and Attendance System for Editing

Time: 09:00 hr – 11:00 hr

Location: City Hall Room 1107

Trainer/Contact Person: Steve Morales

RSVP: Email Steve Morales at Steve.Morales@cityofchicago.org no later than Thursday, October 15, 2015


Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015

Topic: The Basic Concepts of Chicago Mobile Asset Tracking (CMAT) and Auditing of Worksheets (GPS vs Worksheet), Microsoft Word 365 and Microsoft Excel 365

Time: 09:00 hr – 11:00 hr

Location: City Hall Room 1107

Trainer/Contact Person: Chris Reiser

RSVP: Email Chris Reiser at Christopher.Reiser@cityofchicago.org no later than, Thursday, December 3, 2015


Parking: Parking is available at the Streets and Sanitation Lower Randolph facility located at 351 East Lower Randolph or local garages.

All training sessions are voluntary and attendees will not be paid for attendance. All attendees must RSVP to the appropriate trainer by the close of business on the Thursday before the training.

Classes are open to City of Chicago Department of Streets & Sanitation Employees only

Just doing his job

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LiUNA Local 1001 member Joe Frey

Let’s see the Privates do this! They won’t pick up anything outside the cart, let alone this little fella.

A big thumbs up to one of our Laborers’ who is “just doing his job”.

Refuse collection is not an easy job, the guys and gals of Local 1001 just make it look that way.

Keep up the great work everyone, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Mayor makes case for budget plan

BY HAL DARDICK AND BILL RUTHHART – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Our greatest financial challenge today is the exploding cost of our unpaid pensions,” Emanuel said. “It is a big dark cloud that hangs over the rest of our city’s finances.”

The mayor said the city can’t cut its way to find the money for increasing pension payments. To do so, he said, would mean cuts of 2,500 police officers, or about 20 percent of the force. He also said 48 fire stations — about half the city’s total — would have to be shut down while laying off 2,000 firefighters, or 40 percent of the department.

Other services, including street repair and rodent abatement, also would go by the wayside, he said.

“In short, if we were to fund our pensions with cuts alone, our city services would become unreliable. Our city would become unlivable. And that would be totally unacceptable,” Emanuel said, delivering his sales pitch for a property tax hike to politically wary aldermen.

Additionally, Emanuel proposed a new $9.50-a-month garbage-hauling fee to raise $62.7 million, a combination of ride-sharing and taxi fee hikes to generate $48.6 million, building permit fee increases to bring in $13 million and a new tax on electronic cigarettes to capture $1 million. That money would go toward reducing the city’s year-to-year operating shortfall. read more….

Emanuel’s plan to charge for trash removal spotlights Chicago’s class divide

by Dave McKinney – Reuters

Chicago is just one of three major American cities that currently hauls away garbage for the bulk of its residents for free, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel is about to take away that perk – and finding that the rich and poor have very different views of trash collection in this city.

Among big U.S. cities, only Chicago, Boston and New York City do not charge residents at least some fee tied to garbage disposal, according to a 2014 study by the Citizens Budget Commission, a New York City-based civic watchdog. Chicago also is the second-least-efficient garbage collector, with only New York paying more to collect a ton of garbage, the group found.

The new $9.50 per month flat fee Emanuel wants to charge the 613,000 households that would have to pay for garbage collection is expected to raise more than $60 million. The mayor has proposed cutting that monthly fee in half for about 40,000 seniors with household income of $55,000 or less.

Gunnar Branson, a 50-year-old real estate executive who lives just a block from Emanuel’s wood-frame home on Chicago’s North Side, flinches at paying a new garbage fee but recognizes its urgency and is resigned to its imposition. “I hate that, but I hate the fact that I have to pay for groceries too, and I have to pay for gas,” he said. “Obviously, we want everything for free.”

Chicago is a rarity among major cities for using three-person crews on garbage trucks, an arrangement New York City abandoned in the 1980s. One study said Chicago could save $19.4 million by moving to two-person crews.

Despite the new efficiency in routes, a city budget spokeswoman said Chicago this year expects to spend $244 million on garbage collection, a rise of 16 percent in the past four years.

But privatization is considered unlikely because of labor union opposition and the lingering bad taste left by the 2009 decision to lease the city’s parking meters to a private company. Parking rates have quadrupled since then.  read more….

Emanuel to propose $588M property tax hike, phased in over 4 years

By Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

To eliminate the city’s structural deficit and confront a $30 billion pension crisis that has saddled Chicago with a junk bond rating, Emanuel will ask the City Council to raise property taxes by $588 million by 2018 for police and fire pensions and school construction and impose a first-ever monthly garbage collection fee of $9.50 per household.

The $588 million increase will cost the owner of a $250,000 home roughly $588 more a year. It will be phased in over a four-year period, under the 2016 budget that Emanuel will unveil to the City Council on Tuesday.

A $318 million increase for police and fire pensions would apply to the 2015 property tax levy payable in 2016, coupled with a $45 million increase for school construction, for a total increase of $363 million.

That will be followed by a $109 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions in the 2016 levy, a $53 million increase in 2017 and $63 million in 2018.

The $9.50-a-month garbage collection fee amounts to a back-door property tax increase that would add $114 to the costs heaped on 613,000 Chicago owners of single-family homes, two-, three- and four-flats that still get city pick-ups.

Senior citizens would pay half that amount, just as they do now on city stickers, in a break demanded by the City Council’s Black Caucus. The city is assuming that 40,000 seniors will get the garbage discount.

As expected, the new fee would be tacked on to water bills that arrive in mailboxes every other month. If homeowners refuse to pay the garbage fee, city crews would still pick up the trash to avoid exacerbating Chicago’s already serious rodent problem.  read more…..

Emanuel on Tuesday to seek $600M property tax hike, more fees to fix city

By Hal Dardick- Chicago Tribune

The city property tax hike would be phased in. It would increase by $318 million next year and another $109 million in 2017. The 2018 tab would go up by another $53 million, and the 2019 bill by $63 million. The total increase is $543 million — which Emanuel aides said would add about $543 to the tax bill on a home with a market value of $250,000. The overall tax bill on that home is now about $4,162.

In his budget address, Emanuel also will ask the council to authorize an additional $45 million property tax increase for CPS that would add another $45 or so next year to the property tax bill of that $250,000 home. The money would go to construction projects to alleviate what the Emanuel administration said was classroom overcrowding. The Chicago Board of Education already has enacted a tax increase that would add another $19 to that property tax bill.

Meanwhile, owners of single-family homes, duplexes and four-flats would be charged for city garbage-hauling service for the first time at $9.50 per dwelling unit. Lower-income senior citizens would pay half that amount. The fee would be tacked on to water bills. It would bring in about $62.7 million a year.  read more……

Aldermen reluctantly embrace new garbage ‘fee’

By Mark Brown – Chicago Sun-Times

Six brave, or at least somewhat emotionally secure, Chicago aldermen stepped before a bank of microphones Friday in the second-floor lobby at City Hall.

They nudged Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) to the front.

“All right, Rod, we’re right behind you,” one of them said with a laugh.

Sawyer, son of a former mayor, turned and shot them a what-am-I-getting-myself-into look.

Then, after a meandering preamble, Sawyer got to the point: “We’re here today to propose a fee that none of us really want but think it’s necessary, and that is a garbage fee.”

With those words, the prospect of a first-ever separate garbage-collection fee for Chicago homeowners took a giant step toward becoming reality. read more…….

Emanuel dispatches aldermen to back garbage fee

By Hal Dardick  – Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday dispatched a group of aldermen to express support for a first-ever garbage hauling fee on single-family homes, duplexes and four-flats as he lays the groundwork for his 2016 budget address Tuesday.

Minutes after meeting with Emanuel aides, the aldermen held a City Hall news conference to say they back a monthly hauling fee, provided it did not top $11. The aldermen also said they were considering a lower trash fee for senior citizens.

“We are here today to propose a fee that none of us really like, but we think is necessary, and that is a garbage fee,” said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, chairman of the Black Caucus and a member of the Progressive Reform Caucus. “This idea has been going around for many, many years. It’s gained some traction because the city’s in a tremendous financial deficit and no one wants to come with serious solutions to try to plug this hole.” read more……

Council support for Emanuel tax hikes shows city’s geographic, racial divides

By John Byrne and Bill Ruthhart  – Chicago Tribune

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to ask the City Council for a series of tax increases both big and small, he’s finding that support from aldermen in many cases is breaking down along Chicago’s economic, geographic and racial divides.

City Council members representing the South and West Sides are more comfortable with the idea of voting for a record property tax hike than a new garbage pickup fee. The homes in those wards tend to be worth less, so the property tax bite would be smaller, and Emanuel is trying to get Springfield to shield people whose homes are worth less than $250,000 from the effects. A garbage fee, on the other hand, could mean $11 a month out of every homeowner’s pocket.

Emanuel calls for new ride-share, taxi fees
The dynamic is the opposite for aldermen in more affluent parts of the city. Homes tend to be more valuable downtown and on the North Side, so a property tax hike hits harder, and taxpayers there would not be afforded as much protection under Emanuel’s plan. A garbage fee doesn’t cut as deep, and many residents live in high-rises that already pay private waste haulers.

For Emanuel, the differing political perspectives require a balancing act as he tries to collect the 26 votes for approval. The mayor needs the property tax to make a massive increase in police and firefighter pension payments, but he also wants the garbage fee to help close a year-to-year budget gap. Adjusting the size of each tax hike could prove key. read more……

SPECIAL OLYMPICS – PULL THE PLANE CHARITY EVENT

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The members of LiUNA Laborers’ Local 1001 participating at the Pull the Plane event on Saturday, September 19, 2015 for the Special Olympics. Giving back to the community and demonstrating how important Public Employees are, in not only doing their exceptional work day in and day out but by how they are an important part of the community.

Congratulations to the Pull the Plane team from Local 1001, great job!

Emanuel’s floor leader unveils reduced garbage fee to soften opposition

By Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago would impose a first-ever garbage collection fee of $9.50 per household, but senior citizens would get a 50 percent break, under a compromise hammered out behind-the-scenes by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Council floor leader.

Initially, Emanuel had been considering a fee in the $11-to-$12 range to raise more than $100 million to chip away at Chicago’s $30 billion pension crisis.

“It’s not a lack of agreement. We all stand here saying that we are prepared to support some form of a fee for garbage,” Harris said.

“All we’re saying to the administration is, we don’t want to charge folks any more than $11. If we can negotiate that down to a lower number, I’m even happier.”

The plan calls for the fee to be imposed on roughly 613,000 single-family homes, two-, three- and four-flats that still get city pick-ups. Senior citizens would pay half that amount, just as they do now on city stickers. read more…..

As Emanuel prepares budget, possible garbage fee is in flux

By Hal Dardick Chicago Tribune
As Mayor Rahm Emanuel puts the finishing touches on next week’s budget proposal, the amount of a new monthly garbage collection tax remains in flux.
An administration source said Thursday the fee would be no more than $11 a month, even as a key ally of the mayor said the fee would be $9.50 a month.
Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, described the charge as the result of “negotiation between a couple of us on the City Council and the administration.”
The fee, which would be charged to about 613,000 houses, duplexes and four-flats, would raise about $70 million a year if everyone paid it, Moore said. The garbage fee would be included on water bills that are sent out every other month, much as they are in many suburbs, he added.
People who don’t pay their water bills can see that service shut off, but the city would still continue to pick up garbage for sanitary reasons in those cases, Moore said.
The Emanuel administration would not confirm the $9.50 a month figure.
“In recent weeks, several aldermen offered an idea to expand the garbage collection fee to all households,” Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said in an email statement. “Today, we provided aldermen with relevant information so that no matter the final decision, it can be made with all facts at hand.” read more……

Steinberg: Cupich follows tradition in enlisting God for union fight

BY NEIL STEINBERG – CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

“It is the duty of the state to respect and cherish them, and if need be, to defend them from attack,” Pope Leo wrote, during a time of vicious anti-union activities, even more extreme than our own.

It is heartening to see his approach embraced by Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich, who went to bat for Illinois’ besieged labor unions this week.

“History has shown that a society with a healthy, effective and responsible labor movement is a better place than one where other powerful economic interests have their way and the voices and rights of workers are diminished,” Cupich told a gathering at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130 on the West Side Thursday. “The church is duty-bound to challenge such efforts, by raising questions based on long-standing principles.” read more…….

Archbishop Cupich enters political battle over unions

BY STEFANO ESPOSITO, NATASHA KORECKI AND TINA SFONDELES – CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich waded into Springfield’s political morass Thursday, standing firmly with organized labor as he blasted a linchpin of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda.

In an almost 40-minute speech, Cupich made frequent reference to the dignity and rights of workers, and spoke of the “proud tradition of collaboration and common commitment between labor and the church.”

“I come here today to offer my friendship and my support as Chicago’s new archbishop and to renew an essential relationship between the Catholic Church and the labor movement,” Cupich said. read more…..

Emanuel property tax exemption could reap political benefits even if it fails

Hal Dardick and Bill Ruthhart –Chicago Tribune

Emanuel’s idea is to create a new exemption that would shield the owners of homes worth $250,000 or less from paying the city more in property taxes as a result of the mayor’s hike, said a source familiar with the proposal but not authorized to speak publicly. For more expensive homes, the property tax bill would go up, but less than it otherwise would have without the exemption, the source said.

But to do it, Emanuel needs help from Springfield, which has ground to a halt amid partisan bickering over the state budget and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pro-business, union-weakening agenda. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton are working with Emanuel on the property tax exemption details, legislative aides said Monday.

Even if the measure should pass, it’s unlikely Rauner would agree to it. The governor wants a two-year, statewide property tax freeze, and signing off on Emanuel’s plan for an exemption would be akin to enabling a massive property tax hike by providing political cover for the mayor. read more…….

GOP candidate Walker proposes vast restrictions on unions

Chicago Sun-Times – Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker on Monday will call for sweeping restrictions on organized labor in the U.S., seeking to replicate nationwide his successful effort as Wisconsin’s governor to curb the power of unions.

At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Walker will propose:

• Eliminating unions for employees of the federal government.
• Making all workplaces right-to-work unless individual states vote otherwise.
• Scrapping the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices.
• Making it more difficult for unions to organize.

Many of Walker’s proposals are focused on unions for workers at all levels of government, while others would also affect private-sector unions. Labor law experts said such an effort, if successful, would substantially reduce the power of organized labor in America.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Ann Hodges, a professor at the University of Richmond who has studied labor law for more than 40 years. “This will take the breath away from anyone who’s worked in labor relations for any length of time. . . . It’s pretty draconian.”  read more…...

8th Ward Back To School Parade and Jamboree…

Even a little rain doesn’t stop the Ladies of Labor from Local 1001.

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The annual 8th Ward Back to School Parade and Jamboree on Saturday, September 12, 2015.

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The Ladies of Labor from Local 1001 were proudly out marching in the event on Saturday and stopped to have a photo taken with the events sponsor 8th Ward Alderman and Committeeman Michelle A. Harris. (above)

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The Parade began at the 8th Ward Office, proceeded down 87th Street, and culminated at Jesse Owens Park.

Rahm completes 3- year phaseout of retiree subsidy for health care

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES  – By Fran Spielman

For those who retired on or after July 1, 2005, the subsidy will also be cut in half and vary with longevity. It’ll go from 20 to 25 percent to 10 to 12.5 percent.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already ordered sharply higher health care contributions from 313 City Hall bureaucrats, including himself.

On Friday, the mayor lowered the boom on retirees by completing a three- year phaseout of the city’s 55 percent subsidy for retiree health care and assuming that a lawsuit that seeks to reinstate the subsidy of $ 108.7million a year falls flat. read more…..