Union opposes Wood Dale dispatch consolidation plan
A labor union claims eight Wood Dale emergency dispatchers will be out of a job if the city adopts a plan to consolidate with Addison for such services.
Wood Dale's mayor, however, says the proposed consolidation might be the city's only option.
The city council on Thursday night is expected to vote on a proposed intergovernmental agreement with Addison for dispatch services.
If approved, the city would be served by the Addison Consolidated Dispatch Center, a facility that already provides emergency communication coverage for Addison, Bensenville and Bloomingdale.
Teamsters Local 700 has issued a statement saying the deal would result in eight Wood Dale dispatchers losing their jobs. The union, which represents the dispatchers, says it vehemently opposes the cuts.
"The Wood Dale dispatchers perform a valuable service to the citizens of Wood Dale every day," the statement reads. "They are community-focused and committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Wood Dale residents."
Still, the union said Wood Dale is facing funding cuts from the state "as pressure to consolidate services" with Addison.
On Wednesday, Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice said he and other officials have been "fighting all along" to keep the city's dispatchers.
"But there's a big push throughout the entire state for consolidation of dispatch centers," Pulice said.
As a result, Pulice said Wood Dale is in jeopardy of losing money it receives from the state for 911 dispatchers.
If Wood Dale must pay for dispatch services entirely with city revenue, Pulice said it would create an "unsustainable" situation.
So when aldermen vote on the consolidation plan, Pulice is predicting they will "reluctantly" pass the measure.
"Our council would love to keep it in-house," Pulice said. "But when you feel like you're getting squeezed, it leaves you no choice.
"It's kind of with a heavy heart that we've got to make this decision," he said.
Despite the threatened funding cut, union officials said the city shouldn't address the problem by terminating eight "hardworking men and women."
"The Wood Dale dispatchers are nationally accredited, and they are committed to serving the community of Wood Dale," said Annie Slezickey, communications director for Teamsters Local 700. "They perform a valuable service to the public everyday and eliminating these jobs will compromise public safety."
Union leaders are calling on "all friends of labor and those who value public safety" to attend the council meeting to oppose the consolidation effort. The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at city hall, 404 N. Wood Dale Road.