“This is not a good faith effort, that of dialogue or partnership, but a public relations ploy,” said Anders Lindall, spokesman for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of the county’s largest unions.
The administration estimates the county faces a $315 million shortfall next year, and the move would save the county $30 million, said Preckwinkle’s chief of staff, Kurt Summers.
“This is our opportunity to try and work with these folks to save jobs. We have a common goal here,” Summers said. “We have to be fiscally responsible and we have to pursue a shared sacrifice and we expect our employees to do so as well.”
If unions do not agree to the proposal, more than 1,000 jobs could be cut next year, Summers said.
Preckwinkle came into office in December facing a $487 million shortfall for 2011. She struck a deal with most county unions that required a combination of 10 furlough days and government shutdown days. The agreement was meant to save $29 million from the county's $3.05 billion budget and prevented hundreds of layoffs among the county’s 23,000 employees.