The Illinois Department of Transportation has never played by the same rules as everyone else.
Despite talks of budget cuts, economic recession, and laying off more than 1,900 state workers in Illinois, its transportation department has hired 16 new employees--supervisors--that critics claim are not needed.
The new jobs, which are supervisory in nature will, according to some critics, duplicate work already being done by field supervisors who recently joined a union.
The move creates an entire new administrative layer, with each earning about $100,000 annually, far more and in some cases double that of the former supervisors.
IDOT denies the new jobs have any connection to the unionization of employees, despite the announcement coming just weeks after the previous workers joined the Operating Engineers Local 150.
Speaking of unneeded new IDOT jobs, IDOT has also hired a new project coordinator for the long-dormant South Suburban Airport.
On Sept. 12, IDOT announced the hiring of William M. Viste, as project coordinator for the South Suburban Airport. The state project has languished since 1985 when it brought to life an idea first considered in the late 1960's not long after O'Hare International airport opened for business.
According to the South Suburban Airport website, Viste will be charged with "ensuring the technical accuracy of the project's reports and submittals, provide status oversight for the various facets of this complex project, and respond to technical questions and comments from federal, state, and local agencies, communities, landowners, and other stakeholders."