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City Stares Down Layoffs as Workers Ponder Concessions

If workers don't agree to concessions suggested by the city's Finance Director Colleen Julian, the city will be forced to find other ways to plug a $5.2 million hole.

City Stares Down Layoffs as Workers Ponder Concessions

The city of Oak Forest will be forced to turn to layoffs if workers and unions refuse contract concessions totaling $560,000, said Finance Director Colleen Julian.

As aldermen Tuesday considered the 2011–2012 budget, Julian asserted that "more adjustments would be needed"—specifically within part- and full-time staff—if compromises are not made.

The city's budget for the fiscal year beginning May 1 predicts revenue of $29.6 million, and $34.9 million in expenditures, leaving the city with a shortfall of $5.2 million. Julian said the staff has made every effort to contain the costs. Aldermen approved the budget, as Julian noted that they might have to take a closer look again soon.

"There's no surprises here," Julian said of the budget. "We came up with some creative solutions to deal with declining revenue.

"In the event that we cannot agree on certain concessions, we will be looking at layoffs."

City Clerk Scott Burkhardt said that as of the start of the meeting, the clerical workers union and public work employee union both declined the concessions.

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