The city of Chicago provides numerous services to residents and visitors from police protection to street paving, firefighting, and access to local libraries. Many Chicago city workers earn their wages through collective bargaining agreements with more than 40 local and national unions that make up nearly 91% of all employees working for the city. The city also provides healthcare and other benefits to workers, retirees, spouses, and dependents.
In an August 2017 article by the Chicago Sun-Times, it was revealed that “more than a third of Chicago city workers earned $100K-plus" every year. This number includes the 36 Police Department and Fire Department city workers who receive higher wages than the mayor’s $216,210 salary. The other highly paid 13,731 employees earn an annual total of $1.7 billion collectively, and the remaining 21,507 competitively paid city workers earn $1.4 billion together every year.
In January 2018, Chicago City Hall increased wages by 2.1% annually for blue colored city workers over the next five years. This wage increase covers employees and fifteen different departments including truck drivers, laborers, snowplow operators, and tradespeople. This earnings hike is to ensure the city pays workers a prevailing wage.
Many workers are required to be at the ready to ensure public safety and maintain Chicago’s infrastructure so that the city operates smoothly. Some of the city’s workforce assist in weather-related emergencies, special events, and other flexible deployments that often involve working overtime. Chicago city workers injured on the job are entitled to receive workers compensation. Applying for benefits include:
- Filing an accident/incident report with the Department Supervisor to initiate a Worker’s Compensation claim.
- Contacting the City of Chicago employer immediately to report the injury, complete the necessary documentation and arrange payments of health and life insurance.
City of Chicago Worker' Wages
The annual employment data maintained by the city of Chicago for the year 2018 revealed that there were 37,767 City of Chicago Worker employed in the within city limits. These statistics reveal that the City of Chicago Worker earned between $7200 (part-time city council alderman aide) to $300,000 (full-time commissioner of aviation) annually.
Chicago City Workers List
Each one of the 37,000 plus employees for the city of Chicago work in at least one Department that likely includes:
- 3-1-1 City Services
- Alert Chicago - Emergency Preparedness
- Animal Care and Control
- Animal Control and Rescue
- Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
- Attractions, Events, and Exhibitions
- Bridges, Viaducts, and Waterways
- Budget Process
- Building Code
- Buildings Hearings Division
- Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
- Business Compliance and Enforcement
- Business Licenses
- Cable Television
- Call Center Operations Unit
- Capital Improvement Program
- Chicago Cultural Plan
- Chicago Department of Aviation
- Chicago Festivals
- Chicago Film Office
- Chicago Housing Authority
- Chicago Park District
- Chicago Public Art Program
- Chicago Public Library
- Chicago Public Schools
- Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
- Chicago’s Creative Industries
- Children Services
- City Colleges of Chicago
- City Markets and Neighborhood Programs
- City of Chicago TV
- Commission on Human Relations
- Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery
- Community Service Centers
- Conservation & Sustainable Transportation
- Construction, Permits, Utilities, and Contracts
- Consumer Protection
- Cultural Affairs and Special Events
- Cultural Grants
- Data Science
- Division on Domestic Violence
- Economic Development
- Emergency Management & Communications
- Employment Services
- Enterprise Applications
- Environmental Safety & Consumer Affairs Hearings Division
- Family & Support Services
- Finance and Administration
- Fire Prevention
- Fleet and Facility Management
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Graffiti Removal Program
- Grants Administration
- Hearings & Disciplinary Actions
- Historic Preservation
- Homeless and Emergency Services
- Human Resources
- Information Security Office
- Innovation and Technology
- Inter-Group Relations (IGR): Community Tensions and Hate Crimes
- Land Use Planning and Policy
- Liquor Licenses
- Major Projects, Programs, and Studies
- Management Initiatives
- Municipal Hearings Division
- Neighborhood Services (Community Outreach)
- Office of Budget and Management
- Office of Emergency Management
- Office of Inspector General
- Office of New Americans
- Office of the Mayor
- Outreach & Education
- Partnership Opportunities
- Planning, Policy & Management
- Pole Marking/Location Identifiers
- Policy and Advocacy
- Procurement Services
- Public Education
- Public Health
- Public Vehicles
- Public Way Use
- Rental Services
- Rodent Control (Rodent Baiting)
- Sanitation and Waste Reduction (Garbage, Street Sweeping, Recycling, and Zero Waste)
- Senior Services-Area Agency on Aging
- Service Advocacy Unit
- Software Development
- Statements of Financial Interests
- Street Operations (Snow Removal, Lot Cleaning and Weed Cutting)
- Streets and Sanitation (DSS)
- Sustainable Development
- Tax Collection and Enforcement
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
- Technical Operations
- Traffic Management Authority
- Traffic Safety, Signals, Lights and Signs
- Traffic Services (Vehicle Removal/Towing & Special Events Enforcement)
- Utility Billing & Customer Service
- Vehicle Hearings Division
- Violence Prevention
- Water Management
- Water Supply
- Workforce Development and Ex-Offender Programs
- Workforce Solutions
- Youth Services
- Zoning Ordinance Administration
Dangerous City Worker Occupations
While working for the city provides valuable benefits at a competitive wage, some occupations are dangerous. Below is just a small sample of some of the jobs that resulted in fatalities or severe injuries. These include:
- Case 1: Chicago, Illinois – The Cook County medical examiner verified the death of a 41-year-old Chicago city construction worker in February 2017 after a trench collapsed at a job site. The Chicago Department of Water Management stated that the bricklayer was replacing a portion of the sewer system near Keeler and Sauganash when the trench collapsed. First responders rescue the victim by pulling him out of the trench before transporting him to the Evanston St. Francis Hospital. However, the injured victim succumbed to his injuries.
- Case 2: Chicago, Illinois – According to the Associated Press, an Illinois child welfare employee was killed “after being severely beaten last year while trying to take protective custody of a child." The 59-year-old female employee was working for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services when the 25-year-old suspect allegedly kicked the worker “in the head so severely that he fractured her skull." The September 2017 attack by the perpetrator “caused permanent brain damage and extensive disabilities." The suspect was arrested after the attack when the employee was attempting to remove a 2-year-old boy from his home into protective custody. The alleged assault or has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
- Case 3: Chicago, Illinois – A 40-year-old Chicago Transit Authority worker died in June 2016 after a fall onto the CTA train tracks at the Addison Blue Line Station located on the northwest side in the Irvington Park neighborhood. The newly hired employee was working as a flagger and was sending signals to train operators when the incident occurred. The coroner ruled the woman’s death as electrocution caused by touching the CTA third rail which is electrified with 600 high-voltage electricity to propel the trains.
- Case 4: San Antonio, Texas – A City Parks and Recreation worker was killed in a vehicle crash on San Antonio’s West Side. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office stated that a fence pole impaled the worker in the crash. First responders transported the injured city worker to the local area hospital where he died of his injuries the next day. Law enforcement stated that the worker crashed through approximately “50 feet of fence line and a fence pole" that pierced the city service truck, impaling his neck.
- Case 5: Chicago, Illinois – In September 2014, a Cook County jury awarded $7.5 million in damages to surviving family members of a Chicago city laborer who died while working in 2009. The 13-year veteran had been employed by the Chicago DOT (Department of Transportation). The 37-year-old was preparing to perform “tuck-pointing" on bricks at the 100 Street Bridge House when he was struck by a semi-tractor and trailer weighing approximately 11 tons. The accident pinned the victim to the city vehicle and the 18-Wheeler before he was dragged more than 20 feet across the bridge. First responders transported the victim to the Advocate Christchurch Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two hours later. Surviving family members filed the lawsuit seeking compensatory damages.
- Case 6: Chicago, Illinois – A Chicago city employee who work for the Department of Streets and Sanitation was shot to death in March 2018 while in the Back of Yards neighborhood. The 27-year-old employee was driving south on the 4900 block of South Ashland when two men opened fire from a dark-colored SUV hitting the victim multiple times. The injured victim and another man who suffered a grazing wound to the hand drove to the Englewood District Chicago police station. First responders transported both victims to the Stroger Hospital, where the Chicago city worker succumbed to his injuries less than one hour later.
- Case 7: Chicago, Illinois – A railway switching accident at a Granite City railyard claimed the life of a 42-year-old man who had worked at the facility for two decades. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) investigators arrived at the scene to examine the accident. In August 2017, OSHA determined the railyard to be a workplace hazard.
- Case 8: Chicago, Illinois – A Chicago Transit Authority employee was injured on a Red Line Subway near Clybourn and North in January 2016. The incident occurred when the employee fell from a ladder inside the subway. First responders transported the injured worker to Northwest Memorial Hospital. Fire officials state that the victim was in fair to serious condition.
- Case 9: Chicago, Illinois – A CTA female employee suffered serious injuries at a Red Line Station caused by falling ice. Witnesses say falling ice struck the maintenance worker on the shoulder. First responders transported the victim to the Roseland Hospital for emergency medical treatment.
- Case 10: Chicago, Illinois – A Chicago Transit Authority employee suffered serious injuries after touching the electrified third rail. The incident occurred in September 2017 on the north side when a female flagger was holding metal equipment. The worker unintentionally touched the third rail which is electrified with 600 Volts of electricity. First responders transported the injured victim to the Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment and evaluation. The Chicago Fire Department shut down the electrical power for approximately five minutes while assisting the victim.
Are You Ready to Act on Your Compensation Claim?
Our attorneys assist injured City of Chicago Workers recover financial compensation under the IL Worker’s Compensation Act and through civil lawsuits. Call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (888-424-5757) now for a Free Case Review and Consultation.
Our occupational injury attorneys can assist your family through this challenging time. Our legal team understands the complex Illinois Worker’s Compensation system and can ensure that you will receive the most monetary benefits available. Let us handle your case while you recover.
Contact A City of Chicago Workers Compensation & Injury Law Firm
Our law firm working on your behalf can handle your entire compensation claim including filing a case, gathering evidence, negotiating a settlement or presenting the lawsuit in front of a judge and jury. No upfront retainers or fees are required because our personal injury law firm accepts every claim for compensation through contingency fee arrangements.
Your legal fees are paid only if our attorneys successfully resolve your compensation case through a jury trial award or negotiate an out of court settlement on your behalf. We guarantee that if we do not win, you owe us nothing!