Cook County Sends Out Nearly 100 Layoff Notices

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County has begun sending out nearly 100 layoff notices, the first round of more than 1,000 layoffs that Board President Toni Preckwinkle has proposed for next year.

A spokesman for Preckwinkle said that the first round of layoff notices began going out Monday. Fewer than 100 notices were sent out from Preckwinkle’s office to employees at the public defender’s office, the county highway department, and several other offices.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports

In all, Precwinkle has proposed 1,055 layoffs for the next budget year, which begins on Dec. 1. But that number could change, as county commissioners have yet to vote on a budget for 2012 and other factors, including union rules, could affect the total number of layoffs.

The proposed layoffs are expected to save the county $40 million. In all, Preckwinkle was facing a budget shortfall of more than $300 million.

Preckwinkle also has asked union workers to take eight unpaid days off next year, which would reduce the number of layoffs to about 500, but, so far, unions have rejected that idea.

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