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Joliet crossing guards agree to deal, avoid outsourcing

Posted on November 17th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

The Joliet, Illinois, city council recently voted unanimously to keep school crossing guards on its payroll, with guards agreeing on a pay cut to avoid being outsourced to a private company, the Herald-News reports.

City manager Thomas Thanas approved the deal with payrolling in mind, realizing that the city needs a way to reduce its 2012 budget. The guards will take a 15 percent pay cut, ultimately saving the city $92,000.

Despite the seemingly large pay decrease, many guards are happy they're able to keep their jobs.

"I'm just ecstatic," said crossing guard Debbie Koehler, as quoted by the news source. "It was a long, hard road but well fought by both sides."

Under the new deal, pay will be reduced from $55 per day to $47, while new hires will begin at a rate of $25 per day. Furthermore, crossing guards will no longer receive pension benefits and, according to the Chicago Tribune, will have their employment restructured so they'll be ineligible for unemployment benefits during the offseason.

By retaining the employees on a pay cut, Joliet still has an $85,000 difference to make up, and may revisit previous budget-cutting plans which included closing fire stations and laying off firefighters, the Herald-News adds. 

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