AFSCME members picket for local jobs

By Beau Ebenezer

March 12, 2013 Updated Mar 12, 2013 at 10:47 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Local code enforcement and building inspectors may be out of a job in the coming months if city officials decide to subcontract the positions.

Dozens of members from of AFSCME Local 3464 picketed outside of Peoria City Hall Tuesday evening.

The rally comes after City Council began to look at subcontracting code enforcement and building inspection.

Union representatives said their local jobs are as important as the local police and fire department.

If the city decides to subcontract out, more than a dozen local jobs could be lost.

"If they contracted out, it could be a company in Colorado or a company in India, for all we know," said AFSCME Council 31 Representative, Tim Lavelle. "Who are the residents going to contact to get their issues addressed? They know our inspectors, they know the community, they know the concerns, and they do an outstanding job."

"We feel like we do the same as the police and the fire department," said city code inspector, Roger McChristian. "I mean we provide a first line of safety in the communities. They want us to let the neighborhoods go."

Peoria City officials were not able to be reached for comment Tuesday night.

AFSCME officials said they will be presenting their petitions to the city in April.

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