Rahm + Reform = a four-letter word... Rahm's union-busting agenda takes aim at cops and firefighters — as well as teachers

At least now anyone who had been paying attention knows that when the word "reform" comes out of the mouth of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it means union busting and the bashing of public workers — and that Chicago's teachers are not alone in the face of an agenda that makes Chicago's mayor roughly the same as Wisconsin's governor when it comes to aggressive attacks on the rights of public workers.

Chicago police on Michigan Ave. helped keep traffic moving and the First Amendment powerful during the May 23, 2012 teachers rallies and march. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.As some of the media reported on May 31, Rahm is making sure people call it "reform." He's trying to "reform" Chicago's public fire fighting work by screwing the people who do the work.

But the most dramatic recent example of that approach to corporate neo-liberal "reform" in the era of Rahm comes from the mayor's treatment of the cops who Rahm designated to save the city from — whatever — when he brought NATO to town on one of those many ego trips he specializes in.

Here is the latest from the Fraternal Order of Police and other sources on — What should we call it? — "Law enforcement reform..." Or maybe if we are including the firefighters: “Public safety reform.” Somehow its union busting hard core smells the same as “school reform…”

“… so after all the praise and police following orders during NATO Rahm the Ruler is trying to screw over the very people that made him look good. This is the true quality of a one percenter, which Rahm is.

The (Fraternal Order of Police) Lodge has received hundreds of calls from members inquiring about the status of the four class action grievances surrounding issues related to the NATO Summit.

Months before the NATO Summit, the Lodge filed a class action grievance when the Department eliminated full 5th period and 5B furloughs.

The Lodge was able to secure a May 7, 2012 arbitration date from Arbitrator George Roumell when a prior case had been cancelled. Arbitrator Roumell heard the furlough cancellation grievance on that date. We are awaiting his decision.

In the week following the NATO Summit, the FOP filed three class action grievances against the City. The first grievance is one most of you are familiar with. The City violated our contract by forcing officers to accept pay rather than compensatory time for overtime work during the NATO Summit. A recent newspaper article quoted a City Hall source was as admitting that it was a mistake, and it would be corrected. To date, the City has not responded to our grievance via proper contractual channels. Instead, they play their game with the media.

The two remaining grievances concern overtime pay for working a 6th or 7th consecutive day in a single calendar week and awarding overtime at the beginning of a 12-hour shift rather than during the final three hours, so as to avoid change of start time pay.

After filing, the Lodge immediately offered to mediate these matters with the City in front of an independent arbitrator/mediator at an already scheduled mediation session in the coming weeks. The City refused. They have not yet responded to any of the grievances, but we will let you know when they do. The City clearly wants to push this off for years to avoid paying you the money that you earned. We protected the Mayor’s personal residence from anarchists; you’d think he could at least pay us what we are owed.

The Lodge is currently awaiting the appointment of an arbitrator and his available arbitration dates. The FOP is asking that its members keep records and notes that will substantiate their claims.

Even the Chicago Tribune calls what Rahm is doing wrong. see the article below.

Sea of love for Chicago's finest likely to evaporate fast

As glow of NATO performance fades, police paychecks, pensions in cash-strapped City Hall's sights

John Kass

May 23, 2012

How long will Chicago police float on their official sea of love?

For the last couple of days, Chicagoans have sung their praises, the people and the big shots too, saying the police did a great job handling the protesters during the NATO summit.

They did do a remarkable job. The cops I spoke with didn't like everything about what happened. They weren't exactly crazy about the protester with the fishing pole and the doughnut as bait. But in the end, who doesn't like being recognized for a job well done?

If there's one group that knows Chicago isn't Happy Land, it is the police. They understand the ancient law applied by emperors to their guards and by mayors to their cops: The hand that pets you now can just as easily haul off and crack you in the mouth.

When City Hall is done basking in the reflected glory of a relatively violence-free NATO summit, the cops who made sure the city wasn't embarrassed most likely will be repaid. And not with candy and nuts. Labor negotiations will begin, and police worry that their paychecks will be squeezed and their pensions cut.

"We stood up for the people and protected the city of Chicago and now we need Chicagoans to protect us from the politicians," Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields told me Tuesday.

A few weeks ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was sounding like the Scott Walker of Chicago, telling publicemployee unions that the day of reckoning was at hand. Then the NATO delegates and the protesters arrived. And there was a weekend of reckoning.

Emanuel disappeared from public view. President Barack Obama might have asked him to stand down, for political or other reasons. But either way, NATO is over, and it's back to work.

To be fair to the Rahmfather, he was dealt a terrible financial hand from the last mayor, who bankrupted the city and got his butt smooched on the way out, and now must not be named.

"The two issues are manpower and pensions," said Shields. "He (Emanuel) wants concessions. Our manpower is down. But even though he was talking of concessions, we still defended the city with honor and integrity. We hope people don't forget that."

So Chicago cops could get their pensions squeezed while former Mayor Richard Daley chews on his $180,000-a-year pension — which comes to just under $500 a day for life.

What would a blue shirt do with $500 a day for life? What would a taxpayer do with it? We chumbolones will never know.

The city does need to be smart about how it spends money. But why squeeze cops in their 50s and tell them the rules have changed? There are other ways.

How about not spending a fortune on those spy cameras?

continued @


June 7, 2012 at 11:45 PM

By: Ann Cata

Emanuel's Union Busting

I agree with John Kugler. We do not have a mayor — he should be called King Emanuel since he dictates and bullies all unions. He promotes himself with staged and scripted media events to make himself look good. Then he turns around and screws everyone else — teachers, police, fire department, streets and sanitation unions (signed, sealed and delivered contracts), then announces to the media his plan. It just goes on, and on, and on.

Rahm is a 1% er himself. He holds not one ounce of guilt in making the rich richer and the poor poorer, by hiking up fees on Chicago residents and then giving TIF money to the 1% in Chicago. Chicagoans, wake up and smell the coffee. Hopefully, he is a one-term mayor.

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