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Pay raise deal worked out for prosecutors

Monday, July 30, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

With prosecutors threatening walkouts and other job actions, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger today announced a deal that gives county state’s attorneys the same pay raises public defenders have received.
Prosecutors will receive an 8 percent “cost-of-living” pay raise, retroactive to 2004, and a $500 bonus, Commissioner Larry Suffredin said this morning.
The $21 million raise is funded through money the county received in a public building commission lawsuit against U.S. Gypsum.
All other non-union county personnel will get a slightly lower pay raise going back just to the start of this year, plus a $1,000 bonus.
All non-union workers, including prosecutors, are guaranteed a 4.75 percent raise next year, Suffredin said.
“By voting for this, you have to be committed to finding $113 million in revenue for next year,” said Suffredin (D-Evanston). “It’s not budgeted.”
Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) said the deal should go through at the board meeting Tuesday.
Raises for the prosecutors were promised during 2007 budget negotiations, but Stroger held off on delivering when the promised revenue stream -- sale of land at Oak Forest Hospital -- took longer than some expected.
After it looked like Stroger would not deliver the raises this year, angry prosecutors started making threats and leaders began negotiating daily.
“President Stroger has always been committed to the cost of living increases … but he wanted to be fiscally responsible and the issue was how to pay for them,” Stroger spokeswoman Ibis Antongiorgi said. “We received some unanticipated revenue and we were able to go ahead.”

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