Alderman Ed Burke appointed numerous employees to run Chicago’s workers’ compensation program. Burke’s hiring of workers’ compensation employees are Shakman violations. Chicago Municipal Code Section 2-152-430 is at least 80 years old, predates the Shakman settlements, and authorizes the City Council finance chairman to hire all workers’ compensation employees and run the program. However, Chicago’s Municipal Code Section 2-152-430 does not have the power or authority to supersede the Shakman Decrees. Burke’s workers’ compensation exempt jobs should have been classified as Shakman non-exempt jobs based on the nature or type of work that the workers’ compensation employees are doing. Burke’s workers’ compensation employees have little or nothing to do with Burke’s finance committee’s financial legislation.
Alderman Burke is a legislator whose job is to add, amend and repeal city ordinances. The workers’ compensation program belongs in the executive branch of government as it is with every major city except Chicago. As a legislator, Burke is not entitled to run a City of Chicago bureau, department, or division as he is doing. Because Alderman Burke is fulfilling the executive branch’s duties and responsibilities, he is violating the separation of powers principle that all city, state and federal governments follow. As a legislator Alderman Burke should only be allowed to check and balance workers’ compensation through the budgeting process, committee hearings, and city ordinances.
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