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Report: Absenteeism Down In Streets And Sanitation Department

A city plow clears a residential street. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A city plow clears a residential street. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Emanuel administration is expected to release a report later Wednesday, showing that absenteeism among employees in the Department of Streets and Sanitation is down.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports, the Chicago Tribune says over the past year, the mayor’s office began keeping a close eye on the attendance rate of employees, and penalizing those with questionable sick-calls. Such practices include calling in sick on a Monday or a Friday.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports

The mayor’s office claims the tactics have worked, and that chronic absenteeism is down 16 percent for drivers and 13 percent for laborers over the past year, the Tribune reports.

In all, that means laborers have worked 242 more days, the Tribune reports. There are 759 laborers and 536 drivers who work for Streets and San, the newspaper reports.

A lower absenteeism rate, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement reported by the Tribune, will help the city stay competitive against private firms in recycling contracts.

The managed competition program for recycling began last year, when the city entered into contracts with two different private firms to handle recycling. Under the program, the city was divided into six service areas – four of which are now being served by those two firms, the other two of which are still being served directly by the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

With the managed competition program now in place, Mayor Emanuel in April announced plans to expand recycling citywide next year.