Latino State News
City of Chicago Grossly Overestimates Unions Absentee Rate by Roughly 900 Percent
Photo: Teamsters Local 700
Misinformation and bad math once again has led City of Chicago leaders to wrongfully blame union workers for the budget shortfalls the City is facing. This time, members on disability and vacation leave were included in the count of those who called in sick. The actual number of Teamsters Local 700-represented City of Chicago employees who call in sick every day is roughly 3 percent.
“It’s clear that Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel is getting fed misinformation,” said William P. Logan, Local 700 Assistant Trustee. “He doesn’t have access to the documents that track sick leave. It’s unfortunate that the people who do have access to this information are presenting it without fact-checking simply to score points.”
A report on Thursday stated that roughly 33 percent of union members working for the City of Chicago call in sick everyday. City Commissioner Tom Byrne has attacked Local 700 and other labor unions in the past with similar accusations. Actual on-site sick leave reports show that only roughly 3 percent of Local 700-represented members working for the City are calling in sick on any given day.
“This is a gross overestimation of the amount of people calling in sick,” said Becky Strzechowski, Local 700 Assistant Trustee. “The most disturbing part is that they’re attacking our members who have been hurt and are on disability as well as members who are using their hard-earned vacation days. Who checked these numbers? Who decided to lump sick days with disability leave? Not only is that unfair to our members, it misleads the people living in Chicago.”
The City of Chicago is expected to face a more than $600 million deficit in 2012, something City officials are scrambling to shrink. Rather than trim excess management positions, the finger has recently been pointed again and again at working men and women.
“Time and time again, City officials beat up on the men and women who are trying to make a living in obviously understaffed conditions,” said William P. Logan, Local 700 Assistant Trustee. “Understaffing means the City simply hasn’t hired enough people to do the available work. It’s a shame that politicians and the media blindly accept these numbers and regurgitate the information in hopes of cashing in favors later.”
SOURCE Teamsters Local 700