Mayor Wants Deal To Keep Libraries Open On Monday

CHICAGO (CBS) — A deal between the Chicago public library’s union and city leaders might lead Mayor Emanuel to rescind the newly announced plan to start closing most libraries all day on Mondays.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he made it clear from the start that his earlier plan to close most libraries in the mornings on Monday and Friday when kids are in school, depended on an agreement from organized labor on more flexible hours.

Without that deal, the city will close libraries all day on Monday to save money.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Craig Dellimore Reports

The closings were part of an overall city budget cutback plan passed by aldermen recently. The reduced hours along with library staff layoffs would save about $3 million.

There’s been no agreement, but on Friday the mayor said there is still time before Monday.

“I expect labor to be a partner in better managing the time because it’s about the people we serve in the communities and not about them and not about me,” the mayor said at an event in West Humboldt Park.

“Other cities are closing libraries Chicago is not closing libraries,” the mayor said.

But, right now, they will close on Mondays, unless a deal can be reached.

Anders Lindall, a spokesman for AFSCME Council 31 representing the 176 library employees, acknowledged that the union is negotiating with the city. But, he categorically denied that the union had forced the city’s hand.

“Whether a reduction in hours comes for four hours on two days a week or eight hours on one day is not acceptable to people of the city who want and deserve access to their libraries at all times. They shouldn’t be forced to accept reduced access,” Lindall said.

“We haven’t seen a proposal from the city that would prevent those reduced hours. We’ve had discussions. Those discussions continue. We hope to reach an agreement to prevent reduced hours and rescind the layoffs.”

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report

  • E M R L

    That’s it lets blame the unions again! Rahm that will only work so much and you have used that excuse to much already. How about cutting the 20 layers of management and 25 aldermen they do nothing now as it is! Every city department is doen to the bare bones and you want more from the lowest worker in the city goverment who makes the least amount and I understand because of 20+ years of miss-management you want their pensions that THEY PAID, the city NEVER paid their share and now don’t want to pay any future obligations! You might be the only person working for the city come May if you keep threatening the workers benefits and pensions!

  • Justforfacebook

    Oh please, closing the libraries one day a week, on Monday is not killing anyone… This goes back to don’t take away my services, and I don’t want to have to pay for them… Enough is enough… For Bill and Walter to make a comment like “Well it’s only $3M”… Do both of you live in Chicago and pay the taxes there??… Do people really need every library in the city to be open 7 days a week??… We don’t have that in the suburbs, and we manage just fine… Oh and needing a computer to find a job??… Really majority have computers, or cell phones, so that excuse is extremely lame… Besides they have IDES that has computers for use… So do family members, or neighbors… Really they can also wait until Tuesday…

  • saywhat3

    Face worry about your town!

  • Mitt Romney’s daughter by one of these three women I’m told maybe my mother…I think?

    My daddy is on TV. If you elect my father as President of The United States of America, he’ll select our uncle/cousin/….who cares Jon Huntsman as Vice President of The United States of America, and we clean up the ghettos and keep the libraries open so Black people can stay warm in the winter then they’ll be calling the Pratt-Romney family The Royal Family. Just like the Kennedy’s. Long live the Pratt-Romney clan!

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  • missy

    most people in Chicago can’t read anyway. you know who you are.

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