34 layoffs at Cook County Health & Hospitals System after budget cuts

The Cook County Board unanimously approved a $5.2 billion budget Tuesday that will lay off 321 county employees, including 34 workers at Cook County Health and Hospitals System, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The board was tasked with filling a $200.6 million budget hole after they voted to repeal the sweetened beverage tax in October. The original budget planned to cut 425 jobs, but the layoffs were eventually reduced to 321.

Of the 34 health system layoffs, the majority will be licensed practical nurses. The last day of work for nonunion employees will be Dec. 8, while union workers will work through Jan. 5.

Many legislators view the budget cuts as a result of the beverage tax repeal.

"The people should really wonder what kind of government we are when we are laying off this many people at this time of year," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, who voted against the beverage tax repeal. "The people losing their jobs will never, never find a better job than the one they’ve lost."

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