Lightfoot takes aim at costly perks and staffing requirements in firefighters contract

Posted9/11/2019 10:05 AM

Runaway overtime at the Chicago Police Department isn't the only item in Mayor Lori Lightfoot's cost-cutting crosshairs. She also hopes to hammer out a new firefighters' contract that eliminates treasured union perks and outdated staffing requirements that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

"She doesn't want to have a confrontation, but she's a tough cookie, and there are some things in the firefighters' contract that don't make a lot of sense and should be changed," a mayoral confidant said Tuesday on condition of anonymity.


"Fires are way down. Emergency medical calls are way up. Yet, this is still a fire suppression department firmly planted in the 1950s and '60s. Changing that kind of encrusted tradition is extremely hard. But she's taking a hard look and trying to come up with a plan."

Sources said Lightfoot delivered her cost-cutting message in a recent face-to-face meeting with Jim Tracy, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2.

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