36th District Court cuts costs - FOX 32 News Chicago

36th District Court cuts costs, officers now independent contractors

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Several court officers in the 36th District Court have learned they are now independent contractors.

This means they are longer paid by the court, their benefits will be cut and they will have to maintain liability insurance with a minimum limit of one million dollars.

Tony Squirewell tells FOX 2's Randy Wimbley he had to turn in his radio, so now, when on the streets, he and other independent contractors will have to call 911 if they encounter a problem. He serves summons and complaints, and does evictions of properties.

The change in employment status will save the court $300,000 a year, but that decision flies in the face of a ruling more than 15 years ago when the state's Employee Relations Commission determined those officers are unionized court employees   

Chief Judge Nancy Blunt says majority of court officers in the tri-county area are independent contractors, so Detroit is simply following suit.

A hearing set for Thursday to settle the matter was recently postponed until May 23.
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