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Cook County to rehire janitors.

Monday, April 16, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

About 40 Cook County janitors laid off in past weeks because of budget cuts will be rehired, county officials said this morning.
Board President Todd Stroger and Sheriff Tom Dart are expected to announce details at a news conference this afternoon. Dart’s office employs the janitors responsible for cleaning county buildings.
As part of cuts passed in February to close a $502 million budget deficit, the county laid of 61 janitors and left 18 open positions unfilled.
Dart, who had strongly objected to the cuts, immediately pulled all janitors from the county headquarters building on Clark Street, where Stroger and the commissioners work. Dart called the move necessary with his reduced staff, but critics labeled it political payback.
Stroger hired a cleaning service on an emergency contract, but the county board later refused to ratify the deal, forcing Stroger into negotiations with Dart.
Dart had agreed to handle some but not all of the cleaning in the county building, leading to a compromise last week that had commissioners and senior administrators hauling their own trash into the corridors.
Dart has pushed for the rehiring of janitors, and financial details are expected later today.
"The rehiring of these workers has been made possible by reallocating funds from a contract for cleaning services at the Juvenile Court Complex," the county said this morning in a statement.

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