Chicago Firefighters will be receiving their back pay checks in the mail shortly according to todays politics.suntimes.com article. Â We here at Chicagofirewire hope the news is true and accurate.
Politics.suntimes.com “Retroactive paychecks with a $45 million pricetag for Chicago taxpayers were mailed Friday to 4,645 firefighters and paramedicsâ€”12 days earlier thanÂ required under their newly-ratified contract.
The age-old promise that, â€œThe check is in mail,â€ literally came true, more than two years after the old contract expired. Back pay was due in firefightersâ€™ hands within 75 days after the City Council ratified the new contract.
Instead, City Hall completed the painstaking process of calculating individual employee checks earlier than expected, and put the checks in the mail.
The retroactive payment totals â€œbetween $40 million and $45 millionâ€ and includes â€œsalary, overtime pay, special pay and pension paymentsâ€ since June 30, 2012, when the old contract expired.
Top mayoral aides said no short or long-term borrowing was required to cover the retroactive pay raises and other payments.
Thatâ€™s because Mayor Rahm Emanuel reserved funds in his 2013 budget to cover the â€œanticipated retroactive amount.â€
The same cannot be said for $65 million in retroactive pay raises owed to Chicago Police officers.
Budget Director Alex Holt has ruled out long-term borrowing, but opened the door to short-term borrowing to be paid back over the life of the contract, which expires on June 30, 2017.
Earlier this year, Emanuel convinced the City Council to double â€” to $1 billion â€”Â a â€œcommercial paperâ€ program used to tide the city over between bond issues.
â€œItâ€™ll be some mix of current cash and, if there is any borrowing, it will be short-term borrowing only paid for over the life of the contract, which expires in 2017,â€ Holt said last month.