Chicago City Hall layoffs starting January 1

December 27, 2011

(Flickr/Jason Ernst)

The new year brings more than 500 layoffs for City of Chicago employees, including some over the next few weeks. Three-hundred-eighty-five of the layoffs - including more than 300 union jobs - are expected to take effect on or around the first of the year.

According to a document provided by the city, some departments are likely to experience just a few: Office of Budget and Management is slated for 1, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is projected to have 2. Others are hit hard: like the library with 182 layoffs, and the Department of Public Health, with 50.

Because of labor rules, some of the workers receiving layoff notices will still have jobs after filling other vacancies in city government.

These cuts were included in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget plan, which sought to close a $636 million deficit. It passed unanimously by the city council after the mayor agreed to some small changes, including fewer job losses than originally planned.

"I see a trend that leaves me uneasy," Ald. John Arena of the 45th Ward said during the debate. "The majority of the cuts in our workforce are to our frontline workers."

In the end, Arena voted yes on the budget, vowing to check up on how the cuts affect services.

The pain for city workers doesn't stop with the layoffs slated for this winter. The administration said an additional 150 employees will be let go after a "consolidation" of community health clinics scheduled for mid-2012.