Water Management – Eliminate Additional Pay for Certain Water Department Workers when They Work on Weekends as Part of Their Normal Schedule

Savings: $400,000


Certain Department of Water Management employees are paid for 9.2 hours’ worth of work when they only actually work 8 hours for certain shifts.  Specifically, “persons assigned to work a schedule which involves Saturday and/or Sunday as their regular work day will receive a shift differential of 9.2 hours pay for 8 hours work for Saturday and/or Sunday work, as the case may be.”[1]   The table below shows, by position, how much was paid under this provision in 2009 and 2010.

Job Title

9.2 Hour Provision Payments in 2009

9.2 Hour Provision Payments in 2010







Construction Laborer



Foreman Of Water Pipe Construction



Motor Truck Driver



Emergency Crew Dispatcher






Pool Motor Truck Driver



Hoisting Engineer



Construction Laborer (Sub-Foreman)



Grand Total



Under this option, the City would rescind this additional pay and pay workers at their regular rates for these shifts.  If the City were to do this, the payments detailed above would be reduced by approximately 13 percent, which would result in a savings to the City of approximately $400,000 annually.[2]

This would necessitate an amendment to the City’s collective bargaining agreements with several unions.

Proponents might argue that this provision provides overly generous compensation to workers who are not working extra hours. Further, this benefit is simply unaffordable given the City’s dire financial condition.   Perhaps others might argue that because the City is a 24/7 entity, it may require regular weekend shifts and should not have to pay additional compensation to workers on these shifts. Opponents might argue that providing increased pay to workers who work irregular shifts is only fair because of the inconvenience of working irregular hours. Additionally, this provision has been collectively bargained for and was likely agreed to by the City in exchange for a concession from the labor unions representing these workers

Budget Details

Dept: Water Management, 088 Bureau:  Multiple
Fund: Multiple Approp Code: Multiple



[1] City of Chicago. “Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Chicago and Laborers Local 1092, Operating Engineers Local 150, Teamsters Local 726, Plumbers Local 130, and Bricklayers Local 21. August 11, 2005.”

[2] The 13 percent differential is derived from calculating the percent difference between 9.2 hour payments and 8 hour payments. 9.2-.8=1.2 Then 1.2/9.2= .13