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Preckwinkle: Only Half Of County Employees Took Furlough Days

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says only about half of the county’s workers took unpaid furlough days agreed to by their unions this year.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, some charges are going to be made.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Preckwinkle says the unions had agreed to the unpaid days off, but officials agreed that essential employees wouldn’t have to take them. About 12,000 employees turned out to be considered essential, under rules that some thought were inequitable.

“It wasn’t about the employees. It was about the decisions of separately-elected officials, and decisions in our health care system, as to who was essential and who wasn’t,” Preckwinkle said.

The policy will be different this year, she said.

“What we proposed this year to our employees was not voluntary furlough days, but shutdown days and unpaid holidays, which could be applied across the board, and eliminate the inequities of this distinction between essential and non-essential employees,” Preckwinkle said.

Preckwinkle is the guest at WBBM Newsradio’s “At Issue” program this weekend. You can hear more of her comments on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.