Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



128 Cook County Jail Workers Called Out Sick on Super Bowl Sunday: Documents

Monday, February 08, 2016
NBC 5 Chicago
by Stefan Holt and Katy Smyser

A total of 128 workers reported ill to Cook County Jail on Super Bowl Sunday – about a third more than a typical day of sick calls, NBC5 Investigates has found.

This comes after NBC 5 Investigates found that seven out of the top 10 sick days at the Cook County Jail, one of the largest county jails in the country, happened either the day of, or the day after, a major televised sporting event.

Over the past year, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has blamedexcessive sick calls at the jail for several lockdowns– and the office has speculated publicly that some of the absenteeism appears to be connected to several high-profile sporting events, such as the Super Bowl.

But a spokesman at Teamsters Local 700, which represents jail employees, says it isn't so, claiming jail workers are being unfairly blamed for taking well-earned and much-needed time off.

So NBC 5 Investigates asked the sheriff’s office to give us the number of employee sick calls it has received every day, for the last four years. Those figures did not include the 2016 Super Bowl.

We examined the ten days with the highest number of sick calls, we did find a connection to major sporting events. But we found other connections as well.

For example, last month, on Jan. 12, the Cook County Jail suddenly went into lockdown mode, meaning the only inmate movements were for medical checks, court dates, or scheduled visitations. The lockdown was launched after 148 Cook County Corrections employeescalled in sick for their shifts. That Monday also happened to be the day after Alabama beat Clemson in the 2015 NCAA BCS College Football Championship. On a typical day, we found, roughly 91 jail employees report ill.

Similarly, two years ago in 2014, as the Florida State Seminoles claimed victory over the Auburn Tigers in the BCS National Championship game, NBC5 Investigates found that 441 jail workers called in sick, and another 299 called out the following day.

The jail was also short-staffed in February of 2015, during the weekend of Super Bowl XLIX. That Super Bowl Sunday, 386 jail workers reported ill, and 584 more called out on the following Monday.

In fact, we discovered that the number of jail employees who report ill on Super Bowl Sunday – and the day after – has been on a consistent rise for the past four years – until this year, when the number dropped sharply back down:

• 2012 – 189 sick calls for Super Bowl Sunday and the following Monday
• 2013 – 358 sick calls
• 2014 – 349 sick calls
• 2015 – 970 sick calls
• 2016 – 226 sick calls

That spike in 2015 – and its drop this year -- reveals another important factor, according to Dennis Andrews, the Business Agent for Teamsters Local 700, which represents and advocates for the jail workers: The weather.

In fact, last year’s Super Bowl XLIX happened the same day as the fifth largest blizzard ever to hit Chicago, dumping more than nineteen inches of snow on the city.

“Somebody will call in and they’ll say, ‘I can’t get out. The snow is three and a half feet deep,” said Andrews. “Can I get a personal day? Can I get a vacation day? ‘No. Call in sick.’ They’re told that. ‘Call in sick.’”

The night of the 2014 BCS Championship college football game was also a record-cold day in Chicago, with temperatures going as low as -16 degrees. And the lockdown in January occurred not just after a big football game, but after one of the harshest winter days of the year.

Andrews says Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is blaming jail workers for taking earned time off from their stressful and demanding jobs. In reference to the large absence the Monday after last year’s Super Bowl and “super storm:” “I would like to know how many of his top administrative staff came to work that day?” Andrews asked.

NBC5 Investigates’ analysis shows that weather appears to have been a factor in half of the top ten jail sick days. But we also found some big sick days that where weather didn’t seem to be a factor, but a major sporting event still was.

For example, 250 employees called in sick – more than two and a half times the average - on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. The jail was put on lockdown. Another 237 called in sick the next day. Two big sporting events happened that weekend: The Kentucky Derby, and the boxing match dubbed as the “Fight of the Century,” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

“It’s earned medical time,” says Andrews. “Officers earned that. If they need to use it, who am I, or who is anybody -- to question them using their earned time?”

The Sheriff’s office declined NBC5 Investigates’ request for an interview, but issued a written statement about employee sick days.

“Our correctional staff has arguably the most difficult job in Cook County,” the statement reads.

“These are the officers who are the real victims – working overtime in understaffed conditions – when a minority of our staff abuses their right to sick time. The Sheriff’s administration is trying to reform the system to hold all of our employees to the high standard that taxpayers expect, and we hope that the Teamsters administration will join us in that worthy mission.”



Source:http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/128-Cook-County-Jail-Workers-Called-Out-Sick-on-Super-Bowl-Sunday-368123531.html#ixzz3zhzORb1m
Follow us:
@nbcchicago on Twitter|nbcchicago on Facebook


Recent Headlines

CTA Moves Forward with Major Red Line Projects:
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Borrow $10B to help stabilize city pensions along with legal pot, casino and benefit cuts: Rahm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Daily Line

Cook County Public Guardian sues DCFS: “Abject moral and human rights failure”
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Capitol Fax

How local suburbs voted in Cook County minimum wage/paid sick leave advisory referenda
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Bugel

Cook County restores tax on parking apps before January cut took effect
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County repeals lower parking-app tax rate
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

PRECKWINKLE’s tax tweak — Details on BURKE raids — State REPUBLICANS look for hope — SUMMERS’ tirade
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Illinois Politico

County Board to take on taxes,toilets at Wednesday meeting
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs
Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP