Saturday, January 31, 2015

City Council backs unions in push for contracts

City Council threw their support behind the city's municipal workers unions today, voting unanimously on a resolution calling for the Nutter Administration to negotiate a fair contract.

City Council backs unions in push for contracts

City Council threw their support behind the city’s municipal workers unions today, voting unanimously on a resolution calling for the Nutter Administration to negotiate a fair contract.

A vocal crowd of members from DC 33 and DC 47 appeared at today’s Council session in force shouting “Keep your word,” –a statement directed at Mayor Nutter.

The unions have been without a contract since it expired in 2009. Nutter has said he would not agree to a contract that doesn’t include significant benefit changes.

“[The resolution] says two things. One, there should be a fair contract, two, our workers have sacrificed and that should be acknowledged,” said City Councilman Wilson Goode Jr., who sponsored the resolution. “Some asked the question why would City Council project itself into union negotiations, I asked what negotiations? Regardless of what you consider to be a fair contract…not having a contract is simply bad fiscal policy.”

Goode said the city’s five-year plan should include contracts for the unions.

“No new contract for our members was ever given by this Administration,” Catherine Scott, president of DC 47 told Council, adding that both unions saved the city money. “So, I say to the Nutter Administration honor your word…stop the stalemate.”

DC 33 president Pete Matthews also urged Nutter to move on a contract deal.

“All we want to do is be treated fairly,” Matthews said.

Nutter later told reporters that he wants a contract that is fair to workers and taxpayers.

“We’re trying to negotiate a contract and [Matthews is] running for reelection in his union. You might hear anything at this point and time,” Nutter said. “What I want is a fair contract to our public employees that’s also fair to the citizens and taxpayers of this city,” he said, adding like the arbitration award correctional officers received earlier this week.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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